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Alternatives to the in-person anaesthetist-led preoperative assessment in adults undergoing low-risk or intermediate-risk surgery: A scoping review

HumanInsight Alternatives to the in-person anaesthetist-led preoperative assessment in adults undergoing low-risk or intermediate-risk surgery: A scoping review

Eur J Anaesthesiol. 2023 Mar 7. doi: 10.1097/EJA.0000000000001815. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: The design of the optimal preoperative evaluation is a much debated topic, with the anaesthetist-led in-person evaluation being most widely used. This approach is possibly leading to overuse of a valuable resource, especially in low-risk patients. Without compromising patient safety, we hypothesised that not all patients would require this type of elaborate evaluation.

OBJECTIVE: The current scoping review aims to critically appraise the range and nature of the existing literature investigating alternatives to the anaesthetist-led preoperative evaluation and their impact on outcomes, to inform future knowledge translation and ultimately improve perioperative clinical practice.

DESIGN: A scoping review of the available literature.

DATA SOURCES: Embase, Medline, Web-of-Science, Cochrane Library and Google Scholar. No date restriction was used.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: Studies in patients scheduled for elective low-risk or intermediate-risk surgery, which compared anaesthetist-led in-person preoperative evaluation with non-anaesthetist-led preoperative evaluation or no outpatient evaluation. The focus was on outcomes, including surgical cancellation, perioperative complications, patient satisfaction and costs.

RESULTS: Twenty-six studies with a total of 361 719 patients were included, reporting on various interventions: telephone evaluation, telemedicine evaluation, evaluation by questionnaire, surgeon-led evaluation, nurse-led evaluation, other types of evaluation and no evaluation up to the day of surgery. Most studies were conducted in the United States and were either pre-post or one group post-test-only studies, with only two randomised controlled trials. Studies differed largely in outcome measures and were of moderate quality overall.

CONCLUSIONS: A number of alternatives to the anaesthetists-led in-person preoperative evaluation have already been researched: that is telephone evaluation, telemedicine evaluation, evaluation by questionnaire and nurse-led evaluation. However, more high-quality research is needed to assess viability in terms of intraoperative or early postoperative complications, surgical cancellation, costs, and patient satisfaction in the form of Patient-Reported Outcome Measures and Patient-Reported Experience Measures.

PMID:36876738 | DOI:10.1097/EJA.0000000000001815

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