Parental upset associated with participation in induction of anaesthesia in children

  • Judith A. Vessey
  • Martin S. Bogetz
  • Catherine L. Caserza
  • Katrina R. Liu
  • Mary D. Cassidy
Reports of Investigation

Abstract

To evaluate the magnitude of parental upset associated with participation in induction of anaesthesia in their child, we determined: (1) the features of induction most upsetting to parents; (2) the characteristics of parents most likely to become upset; and (3) the accuracy of the anaesthetist’s perception of the magnitude of parental upset. The parents (101 mothers and 43 fathers) of 103 children scheduled for elective outpatient surgery requiring general anaesthesia with induction by mask were asked on admission to participate in this study. Parents and children were educated about anaesthesia and surgery according to unit protocols. Immediately after induction of anaesthesia, the parents were asked to complete a demographic information sheet and the Parental Reactions to Anesthesia Induction Questionnaire. Responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics and content analysis. The most upsetting factors for both mothers and fathers in order of significance were: (1) separation from the child after induction of anaesthesia; (2) watching / feeling the child go limp during induction; and (3) seeing the child upset before induction. Characteristics of parents most likely to become upset revealed positive correlations between the amount of upset between mothers and fathers, mothers of an only child, and mothers or fathers who were health care workers (P < 0.05). The anaesthetist’s perception of upset correlated with maternal (P < 0.05), but not parental, self-assessment of upset. We conclude that selected factors of parental participation are upsetting for the parents and that recognizing the factors associated with parental upset may enable operating room personnel to minimize these negative consequences.

Key words

anaesthesia: paediatric, outpatient anaesthetic techniques: induction 

Résumé

Pour évaluer l’importance de l’angoisse des parents associée à leur participation à l’induction de l’anesthésie de leur enfant, nous avons déterminé: 1) les aspects de l’induction les plus angoissants pour les parents; 2) les caractéristiques des parents les plus susceptibles d’être perturbés; 3) la justesse de la perception par l’anesthésiste de l’importance de l’angoisse parentale. Au moment de l’admission, nous avons sollicité la participation des parents (101 mères et 43 pères) de 103 enfants programmés pour une chirurgie ambulatoire sous anesthésie générale avec induction au masque. Nous avons renseigné les parents et les enfants sur l’anesthésie et la chirurgie conformément aux protocoles en usage. Immédiatement après l’induction de l’anesthésie, nous avons demandé aux parents de remplir une formule de données démographiques et un questionnaire sur leurs réactions à l’induction de l’anesthésiste. Les réponses furent analysées par statistiques descriptives et analyse de contenu. Par ordre d’importance, les facteurs les plus angoissants pour les parents sont les suivants: 1) leur séparation de l’enfant après l’induction; 2) la flaccidité de l’enfant pendant l’induction; et 3) l’angoisse de l’enfant avant l’induction. Les caractéristiques des parents les plus susceptibles d’être perturbés révélent des corrélations positives entre l’importance des perturbations entre les mères et les pères, les mères d’enfants uniques, et les mères ou les pères travaillant dans le secteur de la santé (P < 0,05). La perception par l’anesthésiste de l’angoisse parentale corrélait bien avec l’auto-évaluation maternelle (P < 0,05) mais non avec l’auto-évaluation paternelle. Nous concluons que certains facteurs de la participation des parents sont angoissants et que la connaissance de ces facteurs permettra au personnel des salles d’opération d’en minimiser les conséquences négatives.

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Copyright information

© Canadian Anesthesiologists 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Judith A. Vessey
    • 1
  • Martin S. Bogetz
    • 2
  • Catherine L. Caserza
    • 2
  • Katrina R. Liu
    • 2
  • Mary D. Cassidy
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Arkansas Children’s HospitalLittle Rock
  2. 2.Department of Anesthesia and the UCSF Surgery CenterUniversity of California, San FranciscoSan Francisco

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