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Anxiety levels and pain during cataract surgery

Poster Details

First Author: M.Mimouni ISRAEL

Co Author(s):    H. Abualhasan   O. Magen   E. Blumenthal   S. Socea           

Abstract Details


The purpose was to evaluate the correlation between pain associated with phacoemulsification cataract surgery and the patient’s anxiety prior to surgery.


Tertiary Center, Rambam Health Care Campus, Haifa, Israel.


The prospective study included 42 eyes of 42 patients who underwent routine clear corneal incision phacoemulsification surgery by a single surgeon. Patients were interviewed prior to surgery and again within 5 minutes following surgery by two separate independent interviewers other than the surgeon. Anxiety level was measured by the Visual Analog Scale for Anxiety (VASA) and pain by the Visual Analog Scale (VAS). The VAS score was given for the maximum amount of pain endured during the procedure.


The VASA and VAS levels of the participants were greater or equal to 6 in 23.8% (n=10) and 26.2% (n=11) respectively. In univariate correlational analyses VAS demonstrated a significant positive correlation (R2=0.37, P=0.02). There was no association between VAS and all other investigated parameters in univariate analysis . In stepwise backwards regression analysis that included all parameters that were p<0.30 in univariate analysis (VASA, age, previous ophthalmic operations, perceived preoperative guidance) the VASA score was the only parameter that was significantly associated with VAS scores explaining 12.1% of the variation (P=0.03).


This is the first series evaluating the correlation between pre-operative anxiety and pain in phacoemulsification cataract surgery. One quarter of participants experienced high levels of anxiety and pain. Patients with greater anxiety levels were found to experience higher levels of pain. Exploring ways to reduce anxiety in patients may reduce pain and lead to improved patient compliance during surgery.

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