Effective methods to reduce children preoperative anxiety (such as giving previous information, organising a tour to the operating room before the intervention and the presence of clown-doctors) are time-consuming and expensive as they require hospital staff to be performed.
Goal To test the effectiveness of "Clickamico", a new IT method to reduce preoperative anxiety in children.
Methods Randomised controlled trial. The experimental intervention was a 6-minute video showing two clown-doctors who visit the operating theatre (OR) and explain each other in a jokingly way what is in it. Subjects were 40 children aged 6 to 11 undergoing a planned surgical intervention and were randomised to 2 groups. In Group A (n = 20), the video was shown to subjects on a tablet the afternoon preceding a planned surgery. In Group B (n = 20) subjects were given usual care (non standardised oral information given by nurses on parents’ request). Anxiety was measured before treatment and before entering OR using the Yale Preoperative Anxiety Scale-modified (m-YPAS)
Results The groups were homogeneous with regards to age, gender, parents’age and% of children previously undergone surgery. Basal mean m-YPAS scores were not statistically different (Group A 37.3 vs Group B 37.1). Mean m-YPAS observed at entering OR were 33.01 in Group A and 48.6 in Group B (p = 0.009). Basal to pre-OR mean m-YPAS score difference was -2.82 in Group A and +10.7 in Group B (p = 0.003).
Conclusion "Clickamico" is effective in reducing preoperative anxiety in children and may substitute staff-provided interventions, allowing possible reductions of Hospital costs.