Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Nursing (M.S.N.)

Degree Program

College of Nursing

First Advisor

Katherine Kim

Second Advisor

Mary Horan

Third Advisor

Esther Javetz


The purpose of this investigation was to answer the question: What is the effect of preoperative exposure of the intensive care unit (I.C.U.) on anxiety levels of spouses of open heart patients? A pretest-posttest experimental design was used to analyze data collected on 50 spouses of open heart patients. The subjects were randomly assigned to either experimental or control groups. State and trait anxiety levels were measured using Spielberger's State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (1983). The experimental group received preoperative I.C.U. exposure in the format of a videotape the evening of surgery and the control group received routine preoperative preparation. T-test, chi-square, Pearson correlation coefficient, and analysis of covariance were used to analyze the data. Posttest anxiety levels of the experimental group were lower than the control group but not at a statistically significant level. There was a positive correlation between trait and state anxieties and a negative correlation between education and anxiety levels. Several implications for nursing practice were identified.


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