Cancellation of Surgeries: Integrative Review

Narmeen Al Talalwah, Kimberly H. McIltrot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Purpose: To analyze cancellations of surgeries and identify evidence-based interventions to address this issue. Design: Integrative literature review. Methods: An integrative literature search was conducted in four databases: CINAHL, PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane and included literature sources dated January 2011 to January 2016. The complete list of search terms consisted of the following: ambulatory surgery, day surgery center, elective surgical procedure, elective operation, elective surgery, schedule, access to care, surgery cancellation, operation cancellation, and surgery delay. Findings: Twenty-three literature sources were identified. Evidence included one randomized controlled trial and multiple studies. Causes of cancellations were classified into three categories: hospital-related reasons, patient-related reasons, and surgeon-related reasons. Evidence confirmed most cancellations were avoidable. Conclusions: Cancellation of scheduled surgeries has a significant impact on patients' health, resources, cost, and quality of care. It is difficult to devise a solution without understanding the cause of cancellations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-96
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Perianesthesia Nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2019


  • elective surgery
  • surgery cancellation
  • surgery delay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medical–Surgical


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