Document Type



General Surgery (East Africa); Anaesthesiology (East Africa)


Objectives: The use of preoperative triage questionnaires is an innovative way to mitigate the shortage of anaesthesiologists and to identify and refer high-risk patients early for evaluation. This study evaluates the diagnostic accuracy of one such questionnaire in identifying high-risk patients in a Sub-Saharan population.

Design: Diagnostic accuracy study

Setting: The study was conducted in a preanaesthesia assessment clinic in a tertiary referral hospital in SubSaharan Africa. Participants The study had a sample size of 128, including all patients above the age of 18 scheduled for elective surgery under any modality of anaesthesia other than local anaesthesia presenting to the preanaesthesia clinic. Patients scheduled for cardiac and major noncardiac surgery and those non-literate in English were excluded.

Outcome measures: The sensitivity of the preanaesthesia risk assessment tool (PRAT) was the primary outcome measure. Other outcome measures were specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value.

Results: Majority of patients were young and women with a mean age of 36 referred for obstetric and gynaecological procedures. The sensitivity of the PRAT in identifying highrisk patients was at 90.6% with 95%CI (76.9 to 98.2) in this current study while the specificity, negative predictive value (NPV) and positive predictive value (PPV) were 37.5% with 95%CI (24.0 to 43.7), 92.3% with 95%CI (77.7 to 97.0) and 32.6% with 95%CI (29.6 to 37.3) respectively.

Conclusion: The PRAT has a high sensitivity and may be used as a screening tool in identifying high risk patients to refer to the anaesthesiologist early before surgery. Adjusting the high risk criteria to fit the anaesthesiologists’ assessments may improve the specificity of the tool.

Publication (Name of Journal)

BMJ Open

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.