Attitudes of gastroenterologists regarding preoperative anxiety prior to colonoscopy: A cross-sectional study

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Am J Gastroenterol


Introduction: Colonoscopy is often considered by patients to be an anxiety-provoking procedure. Studies have investigated different approaches to help alleviate anxiety prior to colonoscopies. However, there have been no investigations of gastroenterologists and their attitudes towards preprocedural anxiety of patients. This study presents the largest survey assessing these attitudes. Methods: An anonymous questionnaire was sent online to gastroenterologists of the American College of Gastroenterology to assess views regarding pre-procedural anxiety. Results: Of the 280 complete responses, most respondents were male (n = 205, 73.21%), in practice between 0-9 years (n = 133, 47.50%), at the attending/faculty level (n = 69.53%, 194) or a fellow in training (n = 71, 25.45%), and practiced in the academic setting (n = 124, 44.13%). Most respondents did not ask their patients about pre-operative anxiety prior to colonoscopy (n = 149, 53.79%), although many responded that they would use a pre-procedural anxiety rating scale if one was available (n = 123, 44.73%). When questioned about techniques implemented to reduce anxiety about colonoscopies in their patients, the most chosen responses were, pre-operative education about the procedure (n = 223, 82.90%), permitting family members to be present (n = 90, 33.46%), and playing music (n = 77, 28.62%). On a weighted scale, most responded that the endoscopist has the most responsibility for the patient's anxiety, followed by the anesthesiologists/ CRNAs. Conclusion: The majority of gastroenterologists did not regularly measure pre-operative anxiety prior to colonoscopy and almost half would be open to the use a tool to help assess their patient's anxiety. Gastroenterologists relied on a variety of different methods in order to reduce the anxiety patients had prior to colonoscopy. Most preferred patient education as the primary means of anxiety reduction. Responsibility for managing patient anxiety was primarily attributed to the endoscopist and the anesthesiologist/CRNA. Future directions may include the development of a specific tool for anxiety measurement specific to colonoscopy.

PubMed ID

Not assigned.





First Page


Last Page