International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care

General Essays

Routine Preoperative Investigation: Results of a Multicenter Survey in Italy

Gualtiero Ricciardia1, Italo F. Angelilloa2, Umberto Del Pretea3, Marcello M. D'Erricoa4, Guido M. Grassoa5, Pasquale Gregorioa6, Francesco S. Schioppaa7, Maria Triassia8 and Antonio Bocciaa9

a1 University of Cassino

a2 University of Reggio Calabria

a3 Second University of Naples

a4 University of Ancona

a5 University of Molise

a6 University of Ferrara

a7 University “D'Annunzio” Chieti

a8 University of Naples “Federico II”

a9 University of Rome “La Sapienza”


We conducted a study to acquire information on the current behavior of a sample of Italian surgeons and anesthesiologists about prescribing, interpreting, and using routine preoperative investigations. Consultants in surgery and anesthesiology in 60 hospitals in northern, central, and southern Italy were interviewed. Prescription of these procedures by doctors were driven more by personal experience than by updated scientific knowledge. This practice often led to ineffective and inefficient clinical practice, with healthy patients undergoing useless, time-consuming, costly, and sometimes harmful procedures.