Varying the timing of information to alter preoperative anxiety and postoperative recovery in cardiac surgery patients

B. Christopherson, C. Pfeiffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


This study explored the relationships among the timing of information, level of knowledge, self-reported anxiety, and certain recovery variables associated with cardiac surgery. It was hypothesized that patients who received a specific educational booklet 1 to 3 weeks before CABG would report less anxiety preoperatively, recall more information postoperatively, and experience a faster recovery than patients receiving the same booklet immediately preoperatively or choosing not to read it. The sample consisted of three groups: Group 1 did not read the booklet, N = 12; Group 2 read the booklet 1 to 2 days prior to surgery, N = 11; and Group 3 read the booklet anywhere from 3 to 35 days preoperatively, N = 18. A Knowledge Questionnaire was administered to each group at the time of consent to participate. An anxiety inventory was completed by each patient 1 to 2 days preoperatively. Both of these instruments were repeated postoperatively. The results of the study indicated that the two groups who read the booklet significantly increased their learning (p<0.05) regardless of when they received the information. Significant learning did not occur in the group that chose not to read the booklet. However, there was not a significant difference between the groups regarding the amount of information recalled. Those patients who read the booklet 1 to 2 days preoperatively (Group 2) significantly decreased their A-state anxiety scores (p<0.001) from the pre- to the postoperative period. Group 2 also spent the least number of days in the ICU and were discharged earlier than the other two groups. They were, however, the group youngest in age, requiring the least amount of time for cardiopulmonary bypass, and having the least number of coronary arteries bypassed. Thus it was difficult to separate the relationships among knowledge, anxiety, and recovery variables.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)854-861
Number of pages8
JournalHeart and Lung: Journal of Acute and Critical Care
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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