Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Recollection of dreams after short general anaesthesia: influence on patient anxiety and satisfaction

  • K. Hellwagner (a1), A. Holzer (a1), B. Gustorf (a1), K. Schroegendorfer (a1), M. Greher (a1), M. Weindlmayr-Goettel (a1), B. Saletu (a2) and F. X. Lackner (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 June 2005


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.

Corresponding author
Correspondence to: Klaus Hellwagner, Department of Anaesthesia and General Intensive Care, University of Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18–20, A-1090 Vienna, Austria. E-mail:; Tel: +43 1 40400 4107; Fax: +43 1 40400 4028
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

European Journal of Anaesthesiology
  • ISSN: 0265-0215
  • EISSN: 1365-2346
  • URL: /core/journals/european-journal-of-anaesthesiology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *