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Introduction: Surgery can be a stressful and anxiety-provoking event for children and their parents. Preparing a child for surgery may help reduce the anxiety children experience, potentially impacting on the experience of pain since pain experienced can be exacerbated by anxiety. Post-surgical pain in children is associated with problematic behaviours, which can lead to ward disruptions, increased length of stay and anxiety in the child and parent/guardian. The mock admission process was intended to simulate a real admission. Mock admissions involve meeting the surgical team, seeing the theatre environment and a visit to the paediatric ward to meet the staff there. Aim: The aim of this retrospective audit was to compare length of stay and pain in two cohorts of paediatric patients: those who received a mock admission compared to those who did not. Method: A retrospective chart audit was undertaken. Results: A variation in length of stay between the groups was observed, with 96% of the children who received a mock admission having a 24-hour length of stay. By comparison, 20% of those who did not receive a mock admission had a longer length of stay of 48 hours or more. Pain scores were also higher in children who did not receive a mock admission. Conclusions: The mock admission process provided surgical preparation for paediatric patients and has indicated a potential positive impact by reducing length of stay and assisting in the reduction of pain experienced post surgery.

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Journal Article

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