The effect of pre-operative information in relieving anxiety in oral surgery patients

Sam K. S. Ng, Albert W.L. Chau, W. Keung Leung*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    68 Citations (Scopus)


    Appropriate stress management of patients is essential for smooth running of invasive or surgical dental procedures conducted under local anaesthesia. Objective: The current study analysed the effectiveness of pre-operative information provision for anxiety reduction during dentoalveolar surgery in patients with high- or low-trait anxiety. Methods: Patients scheduled for oral surgical procedures performed by six private dental practitioners were invited to participate in the study. They were randomly assigned to four groups and received the following pre-operative information: (i) basic information only, (ii) basic information with details of the operative procedures, (iii) basic information with details of the expected recovery, and (iv) basic information with details of both the operative procedures and recovery. The participants' trait anxiety level was measured with the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS), then they were divided into high- or low-trait anxiety groups with the method of median-split on the basis of the DASS score. Self-rated anxiety was recorded immediately before, during and 10 min after the surgical procedures. Results: High-trait anxiety subjects gave higher self-reported anxiety levels (repeated-measures ANOVA, P < 0.05). Pre-operative provision of details about the expected recovery only or details concerning both the operative procedures and recovery led to significant reduction in self-reported anxiety among the participants throughout the procedure (P < 0.01). However, information on operative procedures led to anxiety reduction in low (P < 0.05) but not high-trait anxiety participants. Conclusion: Provision of pre-operative information of the recovery process leads to significant anxiety reduction in all patients who undergo surgical/invasive procedures with local anaesthesia.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)227-235
    Number of pages9
    JournalCommunity Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Dentistry(all)
    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

    User-Defined Keywords

    • Dental anxiety
    • Oral surgery
    • Pre-operative information
    • Trait anxiety


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