Purpose: To compare fear of circumcision, before, immediately after, and ten days after the operation.
Materials and Methods: This was a case-control study in which participants in the operation group consisted of children admitted for circumcision at the outpatient clinics of a hospital. The Children's Fear Scale and the Venham Picture Test were administered by face-to-face interviews.
Results: The sample consisted of 100 boys who were circumcised and 99 who have not been circumcised yet. Children's Fear Scale scores measured before (P = .000) and immediately after the operation (P = .000) were significantly different from scores obtained on the 10th day after the operation. Total fear scores of the Venham Picture Test of boys whose families were in the higher economic level were higher than those of boys from low-income families (P < .05). The primary reason for admission for circumcision was religious, and the reason for the remaining boys was a combination of religious and hygienic factors. The boys who came to have circumcision solely because of religious reasons were found to be less fearful compared with the boys who were brought to surgery for both religious and medical reasons (P < .05). The lowest fear scores were obtained for boys who were six years of age or older. Boys who knew what the circumcision meant were less afraid of circumcision compared with those who were unaware of the procedure.
Conclusion: Fear from circumcision does not persist; it considerably vanishes within ten days. It seems reasonable to recommend circumcision for boys six years of age or older. Pre-operative education may help boys to overcome fear originated from circumcision.