Objectives To assess the stress experienced by parents and children who underwent a minor surgical procedure.
Methods A prospective study using the state anxiety inventory scale (STAI Y-1), perceived stress scale (PSS) and three-point scale of stress questionnaire (3-SQ) for parents and a four-point stress observational scale for children (4-SOS) were used. Blood pressure and heart rate before and after the operation were also measured. All children were sedated with midazolam syrup before the induction of anaesthesia.
Setting Paediatric Surgical Department, University Medical Centre Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Results The study population consisted of both parents of 13 children and a control group of mothers of nine children unaccompanied by their fathers. No differences in STAI Y-1 or PSS between the groups of mothers accompanied by fathers or between both parents were found. The 3-SQ revealed that mothers accompanied by fathers were under greater stress than the group of unaccompanied mothers. We found strong negative correlation between STAI Y-1, PSS and 3-SQ for the option “not under stress” and strong positive correlation for the option “under strong stress”. In the group of both parents, blood pressure significantly dropped after the operation, whereas in the group of unaccompanied mothers, no changes in blood pressures were found. No correlations between STAI Y-1 and PSS and 4-SOS after operation were found.
Conclusions Mothers accompanied by fathers were under greater stress than unaccompanied mothers. No correlations between STAI Y-1 and PSS and 4-SOS for children after the operation were found.