Background and objective: We ascertained whether dreams during short general anaesthesia influence subsequent patient satisfaction and anxiety.
Methods: Fifty female patients were randomized into two groups to test for a difference between intravenous and inhalational anaesthesias. In Group Propo, anaesthesia was induced and maintained with propofol; in Group Metho–Iso, anaesthesia was induced with methohexital and maintained with isoflurane. Satisfaction and anxiety with anaesthesia were evaluated using a visual analogue scale from 0 to 100. Dream incidence rate, satisfaction and anxiety were assessed from immediately after waking until 3 months later.
Results: Seventeen patients (34%) dreamed during anaesthesia. There were no significant differences in satisfaction or anxiety after anaesthesia between the dreaming and non-dreaming patients (satisfaction, 92.3 ± 21.6 versus 92.1 ± 21.6; anxiety, 21.1 ± 21.1 versus 30.3± 32.1), or between Group Propo and Group Metho–Iso (satisfaction, 94.4 ± 19.3 versus 90.0 ± 23.4; anxiety, 26.0 ± 27.6 versus 28.4 ± 30.7). There was no significant difference in the incidence rate of dreaming with the type of anaesthesia used (Group Propo, 11 patients; Group Metho–Iso, 6 patients).
Conclusions: Dreaming during general anaesthesia is common but does not influence satisfaction or anxiety after anaesthesia.