MAY 20, 2011
In this prospective, double-masked study, investigators found that informing patients about visual perceptions they may experience during cataract surgery helps reduce fear during surgery.
They randomized 851 patients scheduled for first-time cataract surgery to receive counseling on potential intraoperative visual perceptions or no extra counseling.
They found that counseling reduced the proportion of patients who were frightened during cataract surgery as well as their level of fear. Analyzing specific sensations, they found that light perception, colors, movement and flashes induced the most fear.
A higher proportion of counseled patients (77.6 percent) than not-counseled patients (48.1 percent) reported an increase in satisfaction with surgery as a direct result of their intraoperative visual sensations (P<0.001). This finding is supported by other studies in which patients described beautiful images during surgery and reported an increase in satisfaction.