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Visual Analogue Scale Valid for Assessing Pediatric Anxiety

Visual Analogue Scale Valid for Assessing Pediatric Anxiety
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FRIDAY, July 21, 2017 (HealthDay News) — A visual analogue scale (VAS) score is valid for assessing anxiety among children during induction of anesthesia, according to a study published online July 14 in Pediatric Anesthesia.

Johan M. Berghmans, M.D., from Queen Paola Children’s Hospital in Belgium, and colleagues examined anxiety during induction of anesthesia among 401 children (aged 1.5 to 16 years) scheduled for daytime surgery. Parents and anesthesiologists rated children’s anxiety during induction on a VAS, while the modified Yale Preoperative Anxiety Scale was used by a trained observer.

The researchers found that there were strong correlations between parents’ and anesthesiologists’ VAS and modified Yale Preoperative Anxiety Scale scores (0.68 and 0.73, respectively). Children aged ≤5 years had higher VAS scores than children aged ≥6 years. Children of highly anxious parents had higher VAS scores than those of low-anxious parents. There was a mean difference of 3.6 between parents’ and anesthesiologists’ VAS scores. Cut-offs of ≥37 mm and ≥30 mm were established for parents and anesthesiologists, respectively, to classify anxious children.

“The present data provide preliminary data for the validity of a visual analogue scale to assess children’s anxiety during induction,” the authors write.

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