This is a three-year study of 140 tonsillectomized children forming the basis of a study in psychosomatic pediatrics. This research project originated from the departments of pediatrics and anesthesiology of the Albany Medical College. The hospital-anesthesia-operation experience of tonsillectomy in young children is considered from the standpoint of emotional trauma in an attempt to develop a technique to reduce it. A "study" group and a "control" group were studied by a selected staff, and the age limits were 5 to 7 years, inclusive. Each child was visited in the home one week prior to hospitalization by a psychiatric social worker and the preoperative evening by the selected staff anesthesiologist. The child was made fully aware of the events related to anesthesia. The spirit of friendliness, warmth, and happiness in the hospital ward was stressed. Unnecessary preoperative procedures were eliminated.
The case worker must be trained in the art of interviewing