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BACKGROUND: The modified Yale Preoperative Anxiety Scale (mYPAS) is the current “criterion standard” for assessing child anxiety during induction of anesthesia and has been used in >100 studies. This observational instrument covers 5 items and is typically administered at 4 perioperative time points. Application of this complex instrument in busy operating room (OR) settings, however, presents a challenge. In this investigation, we examined whether the instrument could be modified and made easier to use in OR settings.

METHODS: This study used qualitative methods, principal component analyses, Cronbach αs, and effect sizes to create the mYPAS-Short Form (mYPAS-SF) and reduce time points of assessment. Data were obtained from multiple patients (N = 3798; Mage = 5.63) who were recruited in previous investigations using the mYPAS over the past 15 years.

RESULTS: After qualitative analysis, the “use of parent” item was eliminated due to content overlap with other items. The reduced item set accounted for 82% or more of the variance in child anxiety and produced the Cronbach α of at least 0.92. To reduce the number of time points of assessment, a minimum Cohen d effect size criterion of 0.48 change in mYPAS score across time points was used. This led to eliminating the walk to the OR and entrance to the OR time points.

CONCLUSIONS: Reducing the mYPAS to 4 items, creating the mYPAS-SF that can be administered at 2 time points, retained the accuracy of the measure while allowing the instrument to be more easily used in clinical research settings.


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Anesthesia & Analgesia, volume 119, issue 3, in year following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at


Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins



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