Medical College of Wisconsin
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Attitudes of anesthesiologists about addiction and its treatment: a survey of Illinois and Wisconsin members of the American Society of Anesthesiologists. J Clin Anesth 2002 Jun;14(4):284-9



Pubmed ID





STUDY OBJECTIVE: To survey practicing anesthesiologists about their attitudes about addiction and its treatment by means of a previously validated instrument.

DESIGN: Anonymous mail survey.

SETTING: Metropolitan medical college.

PARTICIPANTS: Active members of the American Society of Anesthesiologists in Illinois and Wisconsin.

MAIN RESULTS: The survey consisted of 50 statements presented in a five item Likert (agreement-disagreement) format that evaluated five attitude factors: permissiveness, nonstereotypes, treatment interventions, treatment optimism, and nonmoralism. Five hundred twelve completed and 21 undeliverable surveys were returned from 1,656 surveys mailed (response rate = 31%). The raw scores for the five attitude factors were permissiveness 25 +/- 6, nonstereotypes 34 +/- 6, treatment interventions 32 +/- 4, treatment optimism 19 +/- 3, and nonmoralism 31 +/- 5 (means +/- SD). Anesthesiologists with a personal history of addiction recorded attitude scores that were significantly (p < 0.05) higher than those of their colleagues. Formal training in substance abuse management, attendance at a Twelve Step meeting as either a participant or an observer, and experience with a friend, relative, or colleague with addiction were also associated with significantly higher attitude scores. The attitude scores of anesthesiologists were consistently below those previously reported for clinicians who regularly care for patients with addiction.

CONCLUSIONS: Personal experience with, or education about, addiction contributes to a more positive attitude about addiction. Anesthesiologists have less positive attitudes about addiction than do physicians who regularly manage the disease.

Author List

May JA, Warltier DC, Pagel PS


Paul S. Pagel MD, PhD Professor in the Anesthesiology department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Attitude of Health Personnel
Data Collection
Middle Aged
Substance-Related Disorders
jenkins-FCD Prod-387 b0ced2662056320369de4e5cd5f21c218c03feb3