Background: Patient satisfaction is a well-established indicator to evaluate the quality of medical care and there is an increasing support for the use of patient-reported experience measures (PREMs) to evaluate satisfaction. To anesthetize the upper limb for surgery, both general and regional plexus anaesthesia are appropriate techniques. However, the best technique in the anaesthesiologist's perspective might not necessarily result in the highest patient satisfaction. The aim of this study is to investigate patient satisfaction following general and regional anaesthesia, and to identify areas where anaesthesiologists can focus on improving patient care. Methods: Patients scheduled for elective distal upper extremity surgery under either general or regional plexus anaesthesia were prospectively included. On the first postoperative day, patient satisfaction and main reason for dissatisfaction with the anaesthesia technique were investigated during a telephone interview. Results: Of the 243 patients included in the current study, 79.8% report being "fully satisfied" with their anaesthesia technique. 32.1% of the patients who received regional anaesthesia reported not feeling "fully satisfied". This figure is 5.5% following general anaesthesia. Main reason for dissatisfaction following regional anaesthesia are reported as "insufficient anaesthesia prior to surgery", and "the discomfort of having a long-lasting insensate extremity postoperatively". Conclusions: Following regional plexus anaesthesia, a third of the patients are not "fully satisfied". To optimize patient satisfaction following regional anaesthesia techniques, we advocate stronger focus on patient counselling preoperatively, addressing the issues of block failure and prolonged postoperative sensory and motor block.

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Keywords Anaesthesia, conduction, Anaesthesia, general, Patient care, Patient satisfaction
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Journal BMC Anesthesiology
Droog, W. (Wouter), Hoeks, S.E, Van Aggelen, G.P. (G. Peter), Lin, D.-Y. (D-Yin), Coert, J.H, Stolker, R.J, & Galvin, E. (2019). Regional anaesthesia is associated with less patient satisfaction compared to general anaesthesia following distal upper extremity surgery: A prospective double centred observational study. BMC Anesthesiology (Vol. 19). doi:10.1186/s12871-019-0789-4