Objectives: To investigate pre-operative anxiety of patients at district hospitals in Ashanti Region, Ghana.

Method: A descriptive survey was conducted with patients who were being prepared to undergo various surgical operations at ten hospitals. The questionnaire included the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A) and questions about factors that may contribute to patients’ anxiety prior to surgery.

Results: Most of the 210 respondents reported anxiety with 189 (90%) reporting some anxiety before the surgical operation (20.57/30, +/-10.07), range 0–26). Respondents reported moderate anxious mood (2.14, +/-1.45), tension prior to surgery (2.00, +/-1.35) and insomnia on the day before the procedure (2.00, +/-1.32). It was identified that the type of surgical procedure (3.43, +/-1.36), fear of complications (3.42, +/-1.33) and possible post-operative pain (3.38, +/-1.20) were the most common concerns contributing to pre-operative anxiety. There was a positive association between type of surgery (p < 0.004), postoperative pain (p < 0.005) and concerns for family (p < 0.002) and anxiety.

Conclusion: Most respondents had some level of pre-operative anxiety associated with the type of surgical procedure, possible complications and post-operative pain.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.