The impact of early information concerning the surgical operations on anxiety in patients with burns

Gera A Hartlief, Anuschka S Niemeijer, Kirsten F Lamberts, Marianne K Nieuwenhuis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


AIMS: Stress has been linked to poor coping with health-related issues, poor adaptation, a decrease of quality of life, poor recovery and poor wound healing. Therefore, it is important to address patients' uncertainty and feelings of anxiety. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of providing early treatment information based on an LDI-scan to patients with burns on their feelings of anxiety.

DESIGN: An observational prospective pre-test post-test study.

METHODS: Patients with intermediate burns (n = 59) admitted to our burn centre in 2016 were evaluated for anxiety using a visual analogue scale (VAS-A) before and after an LDI-scan was made. Two groups were compared: a group that heard whether surgery would or would not be recommended for wound closure (certain group) versus a group that heard to wait and see whether an operation was determined to be helpful (uncertain group).

RESULTS: Before the LDI-scan was made, both groups showed clinically high levels of anxiety (median VAS scores above 5). After the information gathered with the LDI was discussed with the patient, anxiety dropped significantly (median VAS below 3; p = .001). No significant differences between the groups were observed (p > .05).

CONCLUSION: In contrast to other studies, anxiety was significantly reduced in all our study groups after information was shared. Early communication of knowledge by health care professionals is important regardless whether it includes treatment uncertainty.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)847-853
Number of pages7
JournalBurns : journal of the International Society for Burn Injuries
Issue number4
Early online date6 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • burns
  • patients
  • anxiety
  • prevention
  • laser-doppler flowmetry
  • gender factors
  • age factors
  • counseling
  • preoperative care
  • reconstructive surgical procedures
  • time factors
  • visual analog scale


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