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INTRODUCTION Increasing patient autonomy in the pre-operative period may help to lessen the anxiety associated with undergoing a surgical procedure, and may enhance patient satisfaction. This study seeks to explore patients’ preferences for mode of travel to the operating theatre. PATIENTS AND METHODS A questionnaire survey was undertaken with all patients having an in-patient or day-case surgical procedure over a 4-week period at one hospital. Results were analysed with respect to the patients’ age, gender and surgical specialty. RESULTS In all, 171 patients completed the questionnaire, 118 day-cases and 53 in-patients. In both sexes and in all age groups, the majority of patients expressed a preference to walk to theatre. The only sub-group which demonstrated an equal preference for a trolley transfer compared with walking were gynaecology patients. CONCLUSIONS These results suggest that a high proportion of patients would prefer to walk to theatre for their operation if given the choice. If the policy of offering choice were adopted, it would enhance patient autonomy and may reduce delays in transferring patients to theatre. It may also release portering resources for other purposes.

Original publication





The Annals of The Royal College of Surgeons of England


Royal College of Surgeons of England

Publication Date





172 - 173