Guiding Intervention: Identifying parental psychological risk factors which contribute towards children’s pre-operative anxiety.

S. Hurst*, S. Fidalgo**, P. Gard***
School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Brighton, Brighton, BN2 4GJ*, School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Brighton, Brighton, BN2 4GJ**, School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Brighton, Brighton, BN2 4GJ***
Up to 60% of children experience significant pre-operative anxiety. This can lead to post-operative complications including emergence delirium, behavioural disturbances, nightmares and enuresis. This study investigated the parental psychological risk factors for children’s pre-operative anxiety. Thirty-four participants aged between six and twelve undergoing ear, nose and throat (ENT) or cleft palate repair procedures were enrolled into this study. Children’s anxiety (dependent variable) was measured using the Modified Yale Pre-operative Anxiety Scale (m-YPAS). Parental psychological risk factors (independent variable) included parental anxiety (measured using State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI)), parental coping style (measured using The Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS)) and parenting style (measured using Parental Authority Questionnaire-Revised (PAQ-R)).

A positive correlation was found between parents anxiety and child’s pre-operative anxiety rs(32) =.377, p<0.05 and emotion-orientated coping style and children’s pre-operative anxiety rs(31)=.35, p<0.05. No other correlations were found. These factors were entered into a multiple regression, F(4, 28)=1.26, p=.31, R2 (.15). This was non-significant.

An incidental finding was both emotion-orientated coping style and authoritative parenting style positively correlated with parents anxiety at rs(31) = .57, p<0.01 and rs (30)= .65, p<0.01 respectively. These factors were entered into a multiple regression and the model demonstrated a significant predictor of parental anxiety: F(4, 27)=15.45, p<0.00, R2 (.69).

These findings have highlighted which parental psychological risk factors are likely to influence child’s pre-operative anxiety. This may be useful in influencing and guiding pre-operative assessment practices to assist with the early identification and intervention implementation to reduce pre-operative anxiety in children.
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