Effect of watching a movie on family members’ anxiety level during their relatives’ surgery

Soheila Mojdeh, Mahmood Zamani, Ali Mehrabi Kooshki, Najmeh Jafari


Background: Surgery is a stressful condition for both patient and family members. This anxiety may interfere with the adequate family functioning and in providing positive support for the patient. Thus, specialized assessment and interventions to reduce anxiety level of family members are essential. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of watching movie on anxiety level of family members during their relatives’ surgery.

Materials and Methods: This was a before-after trial study conducted in Alzahra Medical Center, Isfahan, Iran. Between February 2010 and November 2010, 164 eligible family members in the surgical waiting room who met the inclusion criteria entered in the study. Before and after watching movie, the anxiety level was evaluated using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). Chi-squares, ANOVA and paired- t test were used for analysis using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS, Version 14) for Microsoft Windows.

Results: The study population were 164 people, of whom 87 (53%) were female and 77 (47%) were male. The mean age of participants was 36.6 (SD: 8.4) years ranging from 18 to 67 years. After watching movie, the mean STAI score reached from 46.06 (SD: 9.26) to 39.15 (SD: 11.81) and this difference was statistically significant (p = 0.003).

Conclusions: The results of this study indicated that watching movie could reduce family members’ anxiety during surgery. The findings suggested that movie might be a simple and cost-effective tool to help family members to manage anxiety during surgery of their relatives.

Key words: Anxiety, family members, Iran, movie, nurses, surgery, state-trait anxiety inventory

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