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Arch Hellen Med, 39(3), May-June 2023, 388-396


Determinants of preoperative anxiety and fear in oncology patients
and their satisfaction with the information provided

D. Fragkou,1 V. Kokkoni,2 A. Varaklioti,3 P. Galanis1
1Laboratory of Clinical Epidemiology, Faculty of Nursing, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens,
2Surgical Unit, "Aghios Savvas" General Anti-Cancer Oncology Hospital of Athens, Athens,
3Department of Health Management, Faculty of Social Sciences, Hellenic Open University, Patras, Greece

OBJECTIVE To assess preoperative anxiety and preoperative fear in oncology patients undergoing surgery, and to investigate their possible determinants and the relationship between the information received by the patients before surgery and their anxiety and fear.

METHOD A cross-sectional study was conducted with 131 oncology patients in a general hospital in Attica between March and April 2021. The demographic characteristics of the patients were recorded, and three questionnaires were administered: the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale to measure preoperative anxiety, the Surgery Fear Questionnaire to measure preoperative fear, and the Information Satisfaction Questionnaire to measure satisfaction with the information provided.

RESULTS The mean age of the patients was 47.8 years, and 64.1% were male. Among the patients, 48.1% had measurable anxiety, and their fear was moderate, and 58% reported that the information that they had received was good. Multivariate linear regression analysis showed that increased age was associated with lower anxiety levels, increased information was associated with lower levels of depression and fear, and previous surgical experience was associated with increased fear of short-term consequences. Higher levels of fear were associated with higher levels of depression, stress and anxiety.

CONCLUSIONS Provision of relevant information is very important for patients who are about to undergo surgery for cancer, and appropriate strategies should therefore be adopted to ensure that patients receive the information they need before surgery, in order to reduce their preoperative anxiety and fear.

Key words: Information, Oncology patients, Preoperative anxiety, Preoperative fear, Surgery.

© Archives of Hellenic Medicine