Utilization of iPad Technology to Decrease Pediatric Preoperative Anxiety

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PurposeThe purpose of this project was to determine if iPad technology could decrease preoperative anxiety in school-age children. Each year, more than five million children in the United States have surgical procedures. Preoperative anxiety can delay induction of anesthesia, provoke the release of stress hormones, and hinder postoperative recovery. To decrease preoperative anxiety, a 17-page colorful iPad prep book was developed. The iPad prep book included pictures and words describing the outpatient day surgery process.ProcedureA preexperimental one-group pretest/posttest design was utilized to focus on decreasing preoperative anxiety in 30 school-age children with the use of an iPad prep book before surgery on the day of surgery. Implementation of the project included administration of the Children's Anxiety Meter-State scale to patients to assess their level of anxiety. The iPad prep book was read to each participant by the researcher or child life specialist. To evaluate effectiveness of the iPad prep book, anxiety was reevaluated within 30 minutes of reading and discussing the iPad prep book.ResultsData analysis utilized a one-sample t test to determine if changes in anxiety were statistically significant between preintervention and postintervention values. Children's (N = 30) anxiety scores were significantly decreased with iPad technology, t = −8.39, p < .05.ConclusionThe use of iPad technology did positively improve preoperative anxiety in pediatric surgical patients.

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