Hypothesis / aims of study
Cystoscopy is a common diagnostic tool in the assessment of lower urinary tract symptoms, but it is somewhat painful for patients and often causes feelings of anxiety and distress during the procedure. This study evaluated the effects of using a heating pad on anxiety, pain, and distress during cystoscopy in female patients
Study design, materials and methods
A total of 74 female patients who underwent rigid cystoscopy between January 2017 and August 2017 were randomized to either the experimental group using a heating pad (n = 37) or control group using a heating pad without heat (n = 37). In the experimental group, a heating pad was applied on the patient’s sacrum during cystoscopy. All patients completed the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (20-80) before and after the procedure and assessed their degree of pain and distress after the procedure by the visual analog scale (0–10). Systolic and diastolic blood pressure and pulse rate were also checked before and after the procedure.
Demographic characteristics, mean age, procedure duration, pre and post-procedural systolic and diastolic blood pressures, and pulse rate were statistically similar between the experimental and control groups. The mean State-Trait Anxiety Inventory was significantly lower in the experimental group than in the control group (33.1 ± 10.1 vs 48.2 ± 11.1, P < 0.001). The experimental group showed significantly lower pain and distress scores (Visual Analog Scale, 3.8 ± 1.6, 3.8 ± 1.8) compared with the control group (6.4 ± 1.9, 6.3 ± 2.1, both P < 0.001).
Interpretation of results
The present study showed the remarkable and statistically significant beneficial effects of using a heating pad to reduce patients’ anxiety, pain, and distress during rigid cystoscopy in female patients.
Using a heating pad on the sacrum of female patients during cystoscopy is a noninvasive, nonpharmacological, safe, simple, economical, and effective intervention, which could be clinically beneficial in urological patients undergoing procedures under local anesthesia. We recommend use of a heating pad as an effective adjunct to other pain and anxiety-reducing treatments used during cystoscopy.