Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cartoons reduce anxiety in children undergoing anesthesia, study finds

Date:
November 5, 2012
Source:
International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS)
Summary:
Letting children watch a favorite cartoon is an effective and safe way to reduce anxiety before anesthesia and surgery, concludes a new study.

Letting children watch a favorite cartoon is an effective and safe way to reduce anxiety before anesthesia and surgery, concludes a study in the November issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia, official journal of the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS).

"Cartoon distraction" is an "inexpensive, easy to administer, and comprehensive" technique for reducing anxiety in young children before induction of anesthesia, according to the new research, led by Dr Joengwoo Lee of Chonbuk National University Hospital, South Korea.

Cartoons Reduce Preoperative Anxiety

The study evaluated the use of cartoons to reduce anxiety in 130 children, aged three to seven, undergoing routine surgical procedures -- most commonly tonsillectomy. In a holding area, one group of patients were allowed to choose an animated movie to watch before induction of anesthesia. The children watched the movie on a tablet or laptop computer; a "Power Rangers" cartoon was the most popular choice.

Another group of children were asked to bring a favorite toy, which they were allowed to play with before induction. A third group received no special treatment. Measures of anxiety -- as rated by the parents and judged by the child's behavior -- were compared among groups.

In the holding area, anxiety scores were lower for the children who played with a favorite toy. However, after the children were moved to the operating room, anxiety was lowest for the children who watched cartoons.

According to both parent ratings and behavioral measures, only a few children in the cartoon group had increased anxiety once they went into the operating room. In contrast, nearly all of the children in the other groups had higher anxiety scores in the operating room. Anxiety was rated low or absent for 43 percent of children who watched cartoons, compared to 23 percent of those who brought a toy and seven percent with neither treatment.

Many techniques have been tried to reduce preoperative anxiety in children, with inconsistent results. Treatment with a sedative (midazolam) is probably the most common approach, but this drug has the potential for side effects.

Dr. Lee and colleagues thought watching cartoons might provide a simple way of alleviating anxiety before anesthesia by distracting the children. They write, "Preschool children generally enjoy watching animated cartoons , and they can become sufficiently engrossed to their surroundings and disregard verbal and tactile stimuli." Playing with a familiar toy may be comforting as well.

The results suggest that letting children watch cartoons "is a very effective method to alleviate preoperative anxiety," according to Dr Lee and colleagues. By providing children with a distraction during preparations for anesthesia and surgery, cartoons are an "inexpensive, easy to administer, and comprehensive method for anxiety reduction."

It may seem like a small matter to reduce anxiety by showing children cartoons. But anxiety before surgery can be a significant problem, causing emotional trauma for both the parents and children. In some cases, preoperative anxiety can lead to lasting behavioral problems, such as separation anxiety, aggressiveness, and nightmares.

The study confirms what many parents already know, according to an editorial by Drs Franklyn P. Cladis and Peter J. Davis of University of Pittsburgh: "Trying to interact with our children when "Cars" or "SpongeBob" is on television is futile." Distracting children by letting them "tune into their favorite alternative realities" seems to lower anxiety responses to surgery. Drs Cladis and Davis note that more research would be needed to determine whether reduced anxiety at induction leads to fewer behavioral problems after surgery.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jeongwoo Lee, Jihye Lee, Hyungsun Lim, Ji-Seon Son, Jun-Rae Lee, Dong-Chan Kim, Seonghoon Ko. Cartoon Distraction Alleviates Anxiety in Children During Induction of Anesthesia. Anesthesia & Analgesia, 2012; 115 (5): 1168 DOI: 10.1213/ANE.0b013e31824fb469

Cite This Page:

International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS). "Cartoons reduce anxiety in children undergoing anesthesia, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121105114505.htm>.
International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS). (2012, November 5). Cartoons reduce anxiety in children undergoing anesthesia, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121105114505.htm
International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS). "Cartoons reduce anxiety in children undergoing anesthesia, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121105114505.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins