A randomized controlled trial of the effect of a photographic display with and without music on pre-operative anxiety

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To determine the effectiveness of photographic display at reducing pre-operative anxiety in an ear, nose and throat surgery unit; alone and in combination with music.


The waiting time prior to the surgery is often unpleasant and a time of anxiety for patients. Anxiety can affect physical recovery and psychological well-being; lengthening convalescence and hospital stay after the surgery. Improving pre-operative anxiety is a challenge with potential impacts on improving patients' satisfaction and well-being and decreasing the cost of care.


A clinical trial was conducted with two intervention groups and one control group.


The sample consisted of 180 subjects from the otolaryngology major ambulatory surgery unit in a tertiary hospital in the province of Granada, with 60 subjects per group. The outcome variables measured were state anxiety, heart and respiratory rate and blood pressure. The data were collected from May–December 2013.


After the intervention, in the comparison between control group and photographic display group, all variables had lower means in the intervention group, although a significant P value was only obtained for respiratory rate using one-way anova test. When comparing control group and photographic display combined with music group, using one-way anova test, all mean values were lower in the intervention group and a significant P value were observed for all variables except diastolic blood pressure.


Photographic display in combination with music is more effective at reducing pre-operative anxiety than the standard intervention and photographic display alone.

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