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Managing patient anxiety while undergoing skin cancer excision
Do you have many patients with anxiety? This month’s article deals with a – perhaps – uncommon, but not unimportant issue: managing patient anxiety while undergoing skin cancer excision.
The authors of this paper did a randomised trial of stress ball squeezing or hand-holding or no intervention, while patients underwent a skin cancer excision under local anaesthetic.
The study showed no difference between all three groups. Patient anxiety levels were not high to start with (3 on a score of 1-6), and levels fell over time in each group.
Using a stress ball or hand holding has no effect on reducing stress. So, what is your own practice if you sense that a patient is anxious? Probably clear, confident, reassurance from you – as the doctor – is sufficient.
I really appreciate these simple, pragmatic trials, that help us build an evidence base around our day to day work.
Professor David Wilkinson
Read more from Professor David Wilkinson on recent research:
- Managing Subungual Melanoma In Situ in General Practice
- Diagnostic Accuracy for Skin Cancer Among Non-Doctors
- Dermoscopy in the Diagnosis of Melanoma In Situ
- Can a course of fluorouracil cream reduce a person’s risk of BCC and SCC?
- A New Way to Evaluate Acral Lesions