Fear, anxiety drive much of colonoscopy pain
“A lot of people are afraid of colonoscopies but very few studies have documented the reasons why,” according to James M. Church, MD, of the department of colorectal surgery at the Cleveland Clinic. “Colonoscopy screening is the best way to prevent colorectal cancer but people often do not make use of the test because they are afraid of it. This study documents why they are afraid, which should go a long way to helping caregivers relieve anxiety and allay fears.”
Church and colleagues asked 119 consecutive patients undergoing elective outpatient colonoscopy to complete a questionnaire on their fear, anxiety and procedural experience before and after the procedure. Overall, 65 of the participants were men, the average age was 66 years, and for 11 of the participants this was their first colonoscopy.
Those patients who reported high levels of fear and anxiety also reported they experienced significantly more pain (4.7 vs. 2.7 on a 10-point scale; P = .0065).