Background and Goal of Study: Preoperative anxiety and stress are undoubtedly the most difficult experiences in the group of patients undergoing elective surgery. These unpleasent sensations depend on several factors. The objective of this study was not only to evaluate the preoperative anxiety levels, but also to determine the underlying causes using the STAI anxiety scale in a sample of Turkish population.
Materials and methods: The study was conducted according to the Declaration of Helsinki and was approved by the local ethical committee. All participants gave written informed consent upon having received detailed information on the study. Upon entry in the study, the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory I and II (STAI Form TX-1 and STAI Form TX-2) were completed by 109 ASA I-II patients scheduled for elective surgery. The influencing factors in regard to age, length of sleep the night before surgery, profession, operation and educational status were also reported.
Results and discussion: In the population studied, there was a significant negative association between STAI I and II. The factors increasing trait-anxiety significantly were being female and housewife; on the other hand, obstetrics surgery increased state-anxiety (p < 0.05).
There were significant differences between STAI I and II scores. Type of surgery (orthopedics and urologic), ASA II status, > 30 years of age, having operation experience, sleeping >4 hr the night before surgery and educational level (none/primary school) were contributing factors for the increase in anxiety difference (p< 0.05).
Conclusion: The factors affecting anxiety levels in different populations might vary among different countries. Interestingly, in this sample of Turkish population, the trait-anxiety levels were found to be higher from state-anxiety levels, especially in women, and less educated people. This could be attributed to the low to intermediate life standards of people admitting to our hospital. Thus, doubts about operation and anesthesia are a little bit disregarded. The continuation of this study with larger samples is needed to further investigate the clinical characteristics and personality traits of Turkish people.