Cheryl Chow - 2016 to 2017
McMaster University

"The Effects of a Tablet-based Intervention in Reducing Children’s Peri-operative Anxiety"

Pre-operative anxiety affects up to 5 million children in North America each year and is associated with many adverse psychological, behavioural and medical effects. High stress prior to surgery can also change a child’s body in ways that can lead to more anxiety and pain, more infections and longer healing times. Children who are anxious prior to surgery often require higher doses of pain medications and take longer to recover. Surgery-related anxiety can also increase the risk of separation anxiety, eating problems, sleeping problems and bedwetting, as well as increase fear of doctors. These children are also more likely to wake up after surgery in a highly confused state that can complicate recovery. These problems not only produce significant distress for children and their families, but can have both immediate and long-term effects on a child’s mental health and development.