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Evidence shows tablet-based interactive distraction (TBID) is effective as a preoperative anxiolytic in pediatric patients. TBID involves age-appropriate video games that have been preloaded onto a tablet (TAB) and subsequently given to a pediatric patient before the administration of anesthesia. The purpose of this study is to provide a comprehensive analysis of previous studies that have investigated the use of TBID to minimize preoperative anxiety. The literature criteria for this systematic review included randomized controlled trials and prospective studies that used TBID as a method to reduce preoperative anxiety in pediatric patients aged 1-12 years. Data extraction concentrated on the patient population to which the TABs were introduced, the method of TAB administration, how anxiety was evaluated, who completed the evaluations, and the results of each publication. This chosen data set is to systematically understand if TBID is effective and to identify the most practical ways to implement TBID. Collected data from the selected publications were entered into a table. For this systematic review, 27 publications from 2006 to 2023 were screened for eligibility. These studies were selected using a combination of MeSH terms and a Title-Abstract filter in PubMed, Embase, and Scopus. These data represented 475 total patients (T) and 249 patients who implemented TAB use. The other 226 patients were used as various control groups. The outcome of each study is summarized and placed into a table. This study is expected to provide an overall assessment of the effectiveness of TBID and proposed guidelines for clinicians to incorporate TAB use into preoperative protocols. The time to give the TAB to the children impacts its efficiency. This review accentuates the effectiveness of utilizing TBID to mitigate preoperative anxiety in pediatric patients based on a comprehensive analysis of multiple prior studies conducted in diverse healthcare settings, including pediatric hospitals and surgical centers. TAB use demonstrated an effective reduction in perioperative anxiety, emergence of delirium, and time to discharge, increasing parental satisfaction compared to midazolam. These results are likely replicable across a broader range of clinical settings, provided the intervention parameters, such as the timing of TAB introduction and the personalization of content to patient interests, are carefully adapted to each situation. The anxiety evaluations of patients using TBID varied based on the evaluator. Therefore, future research should analyze if perceived anxiety in patients using TABs is consistent or not among the evaluators. The impact of this TBID review has the potential to set a new benchmark for managing pediatric preoperative anxiety, with significant implications for healthcare quality and patient satisfaction.



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anxiety reducing strategies, tablet-based distraction, adeno-tonsillectomy, tympanostomy tube, preoperative anxiety, distraction techniques, tablet