Short term psychological disturbance in 70 children undergoing minor surgery was compared in two randomly allocated groups by means of questionnaires answered by their parents. Significantly less psychological disturbance was reported in children undergoing day case surgery compared with children admitted on the day before and discharged on the day after surgery. Children who had day case surgery were less often reported to require extra attention in the first week after discharge home, and at three months after operation these children were less often said to be still affected by their hospital stay. It is concluded that a reduced psychological upset can now be added to the other arguments in favour of day case surgery in children.
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