Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Yvonne Ford

Second Advisor

Anita Heyman

Third Advisor

Sally Vliem


Purpose/Background The purpose of this study is to describe individuals likely to experience fear, apprehension, or anxiety during hospitalization. Supporting literature has much to say about intervening once these feelings occur, but little on the description or characteristics of patients exhibiting these feelings during hospitalization. The intent of this exploration is to allow nurses to identify these patients sooner and prevent unnecessary stress and delays in care.

Theoretical Framework When a patient experiences fear, they respond through the stress response cycle commonly observed as delays in wound healing and immunosuppression when feelings are prolonged. Identifying individuals likely to experience fear can prevent these negative consequences as well as allow for positive outcomes from hospitalization. Methods The parent study was a quantitative analysis of patient perceptions and satisfaction of the nursing bedside handoff. A questionnaire was utilized to measure various factors including the presence of fear. Secondary analysis was completed to explore the characteristics of patients who reported fear, apprehension, or anxiety. The data was evaluated for significant relationships between reported fear and patient demographics through descriptive statistical analysis.

Results The findings have shown that Caucasian individuals over the age of 60 are significantly less likely to experience fear, apprehension, or anxiety during hospitalization No other demographic data was found to have a significant relationship to the experience of fear, apprehension, or anxiety during hospitalization.

Conclusion Additional literature paired with these findings point to generational values and characteristics as contributing factors. Supporting literature also demonstrates that patient’s perception of safety may play a role in lessening these feelings.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access