The Effect of Intra-operative Text Messages in Reducing Anxiety Levels Among Family Members of Patients Undergoing Major Musculoskeletal Tumour Surgery

  • Rishi Ram Poudel
  • Vivek Ajit SinghEmail author
  • Nor Faissal Yasin
Original Article



The family of patients undergo profound anxiety when their family member is undergoing major oncological surgery. In this study, we evaluated the effectiveness of periodic intraoperative text messages regarding the status of ongoing surgery in reducing anxiety levels among the patients’ family members.

Materials and Methods

Family members of 60 patients (one for each patient) who were undergoing major oncological surgery lasting more than 1 h were recruited and randomized into two groups (30 patients each). Group 1 (no SMS group) did not receive any text message while Group 2 (SMS group) received periodic intraoperative text messages. Respondents aged less than 16 years, those with associated psychiatric illnesses, and those who did not consent to the study were excluded. Anxiety among family members was assessed using the Visual Analogue Scale for Anxiety (VAS-A) and Anxiety component of Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS-A) at five different periods; (P1) 1 day prior to surgery (P2) at separation from family at the operation theatre (P3) 1 h after commencement of surgery (P4) immediately after completion of surgery, and (P5) 1 day after surgery.


The mean VAS-A and HADS-S scores between both the groups did not show a statistically significant difference for P1, P2 and P5 assessment periods (preoperative period, separation in operation theatre, post-operative period). However, mean VAS-A and HADS-A scores were significantly higher for Group 1 compared to Group 2 during P3 and P4 periods, 1 h after commencement of surgery and completion of surgery, respectively.


Periodic text messages updating the status of ongoing surgery helps to reduce anxiety for family members of patients undergoing oncological surgery during the intraoperative period.


Intra-operative Text message Anxiety 



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Copyright information

© Indian Orthopaedics Association 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rishi Ram Poudel
    • 1
  • Vivek Ajit Singh
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nor Faissal Yasin
    • 1
  1. 1.National Orthopaedic Centre of Excellence in Research & Learning (NOCERAL) Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Faculty of MedicineUniversity MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia

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