Patient Understanding of the Importance of β-Blocker Use in the Perioperative Period

David M. Rosenfeld, Terrence L. Trentman, Joseph G. Hentz, Susan G. Hagstrom, John H. Demenkoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: Perioperative β-adrenergic blockade has been shown to decrease morbidity and mortality after noncardiac surgery. The objective of this study was to determine patient knowledge of the importance of perioperative β-blockade in a population already taking chronic therapy and to assess the effectiveness of medical and surgical providers in patient education regarding these benefits. Design: Survey. Setting: Teaching hospital. Participants: One hundred twenty-six patients taking daily β-blockers presenting to a preoperative medical evaluation clinic completed a 12-question survey that assessed their understanding of the potential benefit of taking the medication in the perioperative period. Intervention: None. Measurements and Main Results: Mean coronary artery disease risk factors per individual were 3.2 (standard deviation, 1.5). Forty-nine percent indicated that β-blockers are beneficial in the perioperative period. Of those identifying benefit, 8% recognized decrease in myocardial infarction or decrease in mortality as the reason. Sixty-nine percent of patients who identified perioperative benefit cited blood pressure control as the reason. This correlated to the 67% of the total sample who identified their indication for the medication as antihypertensive. Only 7% recalled their prescribing physician ever mentioning the β-blocker in relation to surgery. The same percentage recalled their surgeon mentioning it in relation to the planned procedure. Conclusions: This study suggests low patient understanding of the potential importance and reasons for perioperative β-blockade. Patients who recognized perioperative benefit identified antihypertensive versus cardioprotective effects. Clinicians can improve education of patients already taking daily β-blockers regarding these potential benefits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-329
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2007


  • myocardial infarction
  • patient education
  • perioperative
  • β-blocker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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