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Evidence-based Practice and Quality Improvement

Patient's satisfaction with anesthesia consultation: does it matter?


Madeira, F.; Madeira, D.; Cortesão, J.; Morgado, T.; Tavares, E.

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European Journal of Anaesthesiology (EJA): June 2013 - Volume 30 - Issue - p 14-15
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Background: Preoperative evaluation of patients should be carried out with enough time before the schedulled procedure1 and this is a standard of care in our hospital. However, studies about quality of the service offered to patients are lacking and the literature is scarce about this subject. Patient satisfaction has become an importante component of quality improvement2 and it remains the best way to assess the outcome from the point of view of the patient3.

The aim of this study was to assess patient satisfaction with anesthesia consultation by means of a questionnaire developed to this purpose.

Materials and Methods: Prospective study with a questionnaire (16 questions) extended over a period of four months. The inquiry form took place in two phases: before and after consultation. Data were analyzed using the Mann-Whitney test, Chi-Squared test and McNemar-Bowker test; differences were considered statistically significant when p< 0.05.

Results and Discussion: 750 patients were included: 97% answered the questionnaire. Mean age was 58,6. The majority were men (54,3%) with no significant differences in answers between genders. In general, patients expected 4 weeks for appointment with anesthesiologist. Mean time spent in the clinic was 93,4min and mean time waiting for doctor was 60-120min. Patients considered the anesthesiologist very good (43.8%)/excellent (40.6%) and they were satisfied with amount of information received (87.1%).

Patients for whom there was a need for more information came predominantly from Urology/Otorhinolaryngology (p=0.001). After consultation, the majority of patients felt less anxious and better prepared to anesthesia. The best scores found came from questions related with functional and communicating components of the consultation and the worst scores came from questions related to time spent in the clinic. The Cronbach Coefficient Alpha was 0.844, demonstrating that the instrument was reliable and consistent.

Conclusions: The authors concluded that information and communication components of the anesthesia consultation have a significant impact on patient satisfaction.

However, quality improvements are possible for total amount of time spent in the clinic. Moreover measures should be taken to improve information provided to patients (eg: flyers, internet site,etc).


1. Eur J of Anaesthesiol 2011, 28(10): 684-722,
2. Anesthesiology 2009, 110(5): 1061-67,
3. Anesthesiol Clin 2008, 26(4): 613-26
© 2013 European Society of Anaesthesiology