Preoperative anxiety in children risk factors and non-pharmacological management

Mohammad I. Ahmed, Maureen A. Farrell, Katie Parrish, Aman Karla

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


It is important for anesthesiologists to appreciate the impact of preoperative anxiety in children. Not only does it cause suffering in many children prior to their surgical experience, it has a negative impact on their postoperative recovery and possibly long afterwards. Because of these concerns, continued research is warranted to seek ways of minimizing their fears in the perioperative setting. In this review, we will examine the risk factors for preoperative anxiety, tools for quantifying children and parent's anxiety, and strategies that may play a part in decreasing preoperative anxiety. Variables, which influence preoperative anxiety in children, include their age, temperament, prior hospital experience and parent coping abilities. This review will also explore issues surrounding parental presence during a child's anesthesia induction and how understanding child development can enhance their cooperativeness during the preoperative period, especially during anesthesia induction. Non-pharmacological interventions as a means of decreasing pediatric anxiety will be explored. Finally recent trends and new directions will be touched upon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-170
Number of pages18
JournalMiddle East Journal of Anesthesiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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