Introduction: Deciding what risks to disclose prior to a procedure is often challenging for clinicians. We randomised consecutive patients undergoing elective fibreoptic bronchoscopy to receive simple or more detailed written information about the risks of the procedure and compared the effects on anxiety and satisfaction levels.
Methods: A 100-mm anxiety visual anlogue scale (VAS) and a modified Amsterdam preoperative anxiety (scored 4-20) scale (APAIS) were completed before and after reading the designated information leaflet. Following bronchoscopy, subjects completed a satisfaction questionnaire.
Results: Of 142 consecutive patients, 122 (86%) subjects (mean age 57.8 years, 53% male) completed the study. Baseline demographic, clinical and anxiety measures were similar in the two groups. Those who received more detailed risk information had significantly greater increase in anxiety levels than those who received simple information on both the VAS (mean 14.0 (95% confidence interval 10.1 – 17.9) vs 2.5 (-1.4 – 6.4), p<0.0001) and the APAIS (1.73 (1.19 – 2.26) vs 0.57 (0.05 – 1.10), p<0.0001). Almost twice as many of those receiving detailed risk information reported felt they had received too much information about complications or that the information they had received about bronchoscopy had been worrying.
Conclusions: Provision of more detailed risk information prior to bronchoscopy may come at the cost of a small but significant increase in anxiety.
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