SOME POSSIBLE deleterious effects of hospitalization and surgical operations on the personalities of children have been described.1 However, apparently there has been no attempt to relate the experiences of the induction period of anesthesia to the development of undesirable personality changes afterward. It is difficult to establish precise relationships, because the experiences of hospitalization, anesthetization, and operation are not easily separated. A recent study of the effect preanesthetic medication has upon the course of anesthesia2 has led to an investigation of possible relationship between anesthesia and personality changes.
Over an 18-month period, questionnaires were mailed to the parents of all children admitted to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for an otolaryngological operation. Answers were sought to the following questions: 1. Is your child a bed-wetter; since operation does he wet the bed or wet it more frequently? 2. Does your child have night cries or terrors;