Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Health Science (Hons.)


School of Nursing

First Advisor

Dr Sue Nikoletti


Over the last twenty years there has been a considerable amount of research conducted into the effects of preoperative teaching on postoperative recovery. While it is well known that preoperative instruction assists patients to recover from their operation, the mechanisms by which this occurs are not clear. One mechanism which may improve postoperative recovery is preoperatively. This research the reduction of anxiety examined the effects of preoperative teaching on preoperative levels of anxiety in patients undergoing elective cholecystectomy or herniorrhaphy. Twenty eight patients had their preoperative anxiety levels measured by a widely used questionnaire known as the State Trait Anxiety Inventory. These patients were then randomly allocated to either the treatment or control group. The control group received the usual preoperative instruction by the nurse and the physiotherapist. The experimental group received the usual preoperative instruction, as well as detailed information about how they may feel before and after the operation. Each patient vas asked to complete the same questionnaire again, to determine if the preoperative teaching had any effect on their anxiety levels. Comparison of the test results showed that preoperative teaching does assist in reducing preoperative anxiety. It was also found that patients in the treatment group had their anxiety reduced more than those patients in the control group. The findings from this research indicate that the provision of information which Indicates to the patient how they may feel after the operation is effective in reducing the patients' preoperative anxiety. Further research is required to determine whether or not this has any effect on the postoperative outcomes.