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Playing Videos Reduces Anxiety Before Pediatric Surgery

Last Updated: November 02, 2012.

Children who watch a video clip of their choice during induction of inhaled anesthesia are less anxious than children who receive traditional distraction methods, according to a study published in the November issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia.

FRIDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Children who watch a video clip of their choice during induction of inhaled anesthesia are less anxious than children who receive traditional distraction methods, according to a study published in the November issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia.

Katherine A. Mifflin, from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, and colleagues randomly assigned 89 children (age 2 to 10 years old) to either watch a video clip of their choice or to traditional distraction methods during induction of inhaled anesthesia before ambulatory surgery.

The researchers found that children who watched the video were significantly less anxious at induction, as assessed by the modified Yale Preoperative Anxiety Scale. Children in the video group also had a significantly smaller change in anxiety from holding to induction. All of the children were similar in age and had similar anxiety scores before entering the operating room.

"Playing video clips during the inhaled induction of children undergoing ambulatory surgery is an effective method of reducing anxiety," Mifflin and colleagues conclude. "Therefore, pediatric anesthesiologists may consider using video distraction as a useful, valid, alternative strategy for achieving a smooth transition to the anesthetized state."

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