This study investigates the prevalence of peri-operative anxiety and the effective management of intra-operative anxiety during awake surgery. Plastic and vascular surgical patients were selected for the study as many procedures performed within these specialities are performed under local or regional anaesthesia. The study consists of two distinct stages. The first stage was a postal survey of patients (n=213) who had undergone awake plastic, renal access or carotid surgery up to two weeks previously, in order to determine retrospectively the prevalence of peri-operative anxiety. The second stage of the study was a randomised controlled trial of interventions for the effective management of intra-operative anxiety in patients (n=128) having undergone the same surgical procedures described in stage one. The interventions tested in stage two were handholding and an anxiety management package involving a relaxation technique and a procedural information leaflet, against a ¿usual care¿ control.\ud The findings from stage one of the study suggest that peri-operative anxiety prevalence is low, although unacceptable levels of anxiety are seen to elevate during the intra-operative phase. The RCT in stage two demonstrated that intra-operative anxiety was no more effectively managed by the interventions tested than by usual care alone.\ud The validity and reliability of retrospective anxiety measurement was investigated by comparing anxiety scores from stage one with contemporaneous and post-hoc anxiety scores from stage two and found to be an accurate measure of anxiety experienced at the time of the event
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