Patient's knowledge of and attitudes towards awareness and depth of anaesthesia monitoring

K. Leslie, L. Lee, P. S. Myles, N. Lerch, C. Fiddes

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Awareness during anaesthesia is uncommon (∼0. 1%), but causes significant anxiety, dissatisfaction and morbidity for patients. Several electroencephalographic monitors hold promise as monitors for awareness. We therefore conducted a survey to evaluate patients' knowledge of and attitudes towards awareness and monitors of anaesthetic depth. Two hundred consenting, preoperative patients completed a seven-item questionnaire. The median number of previous operations was 2 (inter-quartile range, 1-5). Thirteen patients reported an experience which they thought might be awareness (2% of operations performed on the cohort). Only 56% of patients had heard about awareness before and many (35%) of these had heard about it in the media. Many (35%) were uncertain about what might cause awareness. Many (42.5%) were anxious about awareness: female sex and not having heard about awareness before were significant predictors of anxiety. Nevertheless only 34% were willing to pay for a proven awareness monitor if they were at low risk and only 50% if they were at high risk. Perceived risk and a previous awareness experience were significant predictors of willingness to pay for awareness monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-68
Number of pages6
JournalAnaesthesia and Intensive Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2003


  • Anaesthesia: awareness
  • Complications: cost
  • Monitoring
  • Survey

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