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Are Patients Satisfied After Peripheral Nerve Blockade? Results From an International Registry of Regional Anesthesia
  1. Craig M. Ironfield, MB, BS, BMedSci*,
  2. Michael J. Barrington, MB, BS, FANZCA, PhD*,,
  3. Roman Kluger, MB, BS, FANZCA, MBiostat* and
  4. Brian Sites, MD
  1. *Department of Anaesthesia, St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  2. Melbourne Medical School, University of Melbourne, Melblourne, Victoria, Australia
  3. Department of Anesthesiology, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH
  1. Address correspondence to: Craig M. Ironfield, MB, BS, BMedSci, Department of Anaesthesia, St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne, Fitzroy, Victoria 3065, Australia (e-mail: craig.ironfield{at}


Introduction Peripheral nerve blockade (PNB) is associated with superior outcomes compared with opioids; however, little is known regarding patients’ perceptions of the care they have received. Patient satisfaction is emerging as an important indicator of quality of health care, and identifying deficiencies in discrete aspects of satisfaction may allow targeted interventions to improve quality. In this study, we analyze data relevant to patient satisfaction from the International Registry of Regional Anesthesia. The primary objective of this analysis was to report the results of a patient-satisfaction questionnaire and to determine predictors associated with unwillingness to have PNB repeated in the case of future surgery.

Methods The questionnaire used in this study was derived from this registry’s results and from previously validated questionnaires and addressed 3 domains of importance, namely, provision of information, pain, and interaction with the anesthesiologist. The 11-item written, multidimensional questionnaire was given to patients within 2 days postoperatively. The primary outcome was willingness to have PNB repeated in the event of future similar surgery.

Results Data related to 9969 surgical procedures were collected between July 1, 2011, and March 31, 2013. The survey response rate was 61.6%. Most respondents—94.6% (95% confidence interval, 94.0%–95.1%)—stated that they were willing to have a repeat PNB. Ninety percent of respondents were satisfied or completely satisfied with the information provided about the nerve block, as well as the anesthesiologist-patient interaction. Patients who were dissatisfied with either of these domains (ie, information provision or professional interaction) were less willing to undergo repeat PNB, as were patients who reported significant pain during the nerve block procedure.

Conclusions A high proportion of survey respondents were willing to undergo repeat PNB in case of future surgery and were satisfied with their anesthetic care. Targeted interventions to improve quality of PNB should be aimed at improving comfort, information provision, and physician-patient interaction.

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  • The authors declare no conflict of interest.

    Supported by scholarship grant (10/023) from the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, 2010–2012, and ANZ Trustees, William Jones Payne Trust (CT 13486).

    Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal’s Web site (

    Presented in part at the World Congress of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, Sydney 2013 and at the Australian Society of Anaesthetists, Annual Scientific Meeting, Hobart 2012.