Perioperative Anxiety Implications for Nursing Practice

Apart from some serious medical side effects of perioperative anxiety, several nursing implications can be avoided if a nurse is cautious and professional enough. First of all, nurses need to provide relevant education to their patients. Research indicates that preoperative instruction offered by nurses decreases anxiety (Kalogianni et al., 2015). Moreover, such training can have a positive effect on cardiac patients’ postoperative complications. Kalogianni et al. (2015) note that preoperative anxiety is a common determinant of risk for postoperative mortality. Therefore, providing education to patients can minimize the danger of negative implications.

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The problem of increased stress levels in patients who are supposed to have surgery can also be decreased by employing a patient-centered approach to care. Arakelian, Swenne, Lindberg, Rudolfsson, and von Vogelsang (2017) note that by demonstrating an interest in patients’ health and illness, nurses can motivate them to focus on their health preferences. As a result, patients are likely to obtain detailed knowledge of their problem and realize that surgical involvement will promote their recovery, which will eliminate the level of stress.

Another ramification of perioperative anxiety in patients is concerned with anesthesiology. If a patient is too worried about the future operative involvement, they are likely to require a larger dose of anesthetics. Such a situation is disadvantageous both for the patient and the hospital. For the patient, a greater dose of drugs can lead to serious negative outcomes and health complications. Particularly, one is likely to feel feeble for a longer time, which may lead to a longer hospitalization. For the hospital, such a prolonged stay may lead to additional expenses. Bengtsson, Johansson, and Englund (2016) suggest performing interviews with patients expecting an operation. Scholars note that the more experienced a nurse anesthetist is, the easier it is to cope with patients’ perioperative anxiety.


Arakelian, E., Swenne, C. L., Lindberg, S., Rudolfsson, G., & von Vogelsang, A.-C. (2017). The meaning of person-centred care in the perioperative nursing context from the patient’s perspective – An integrative review. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 26(17-18), 2527-2544.

Bengtsson, Y., Johansson, A., & Englund, E. (2016). Nurse anaesthetists’ experiences of the first intraoperative meeting with anxious adult patients: An interview study. Nordic Journal of Nursing Research, 36(3), 148-154.

Kalogianni, A., Almpani, P., Vastardis, L., Baltopoulos, G., Charitos, C., & Brokalaki, H. (2015). Can nurse-led preoperative education reduce anxiety and postoperative complications of patients undergoing cardiac surgery? European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 15(6), 447-458.

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