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Despite progress in surgery and anaesthesia techniques, anxiety remains an important problem that imposes tremendous barriers to postoperative recovery for surgery patients.In this study, we investigated the effects of preoperative nursing visits on anxiety and postoperative complications in candidates for laparoscopic cholecystectomy.One hundred consecutive patients were randomly assigned into two equal groups of 50 patients each. Anxiety was evaluated in both groups using a translated and validated Spielberger State–Trait Anxiety Inventory. Patients in the control group received routine nursing care. Patients in the intervention group received two preoperative interviews, one on the day before surgery and one just before entering the operating room. Pain, nausea, vomiting and other postoperative complications were compared. Pain was measured using a visual analogue scale.All patients were women with a mean ± standard deviation age of 46.8 ± 10.6 years. At admission, state and trait anxiety measurements in the intervention and control groups were approximately 56 and 55 in both groups. Just before entering the operating room, these values reduced to 40.30 and 39.04 in the intervention group, with no significant change in the control group (p > 0.05). Mean time to reach an Aldrete consciousness score of 9, frequency of nausea and vomiting in the recovery room, level of postoperative pain, vital sign stabilization and time interval to get out of bed all improved significantly in the intervention group.Our study showed that preoperative nursing visits could decrease the level of preoperative anxiety and postoperative complications in this patient population.