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Keywords

depression, fatigue, function recovery, pain, surgery

 

Authors

  1. Zalon, Margarete Lieb

Abstract

Background: Little research has examined the recovery patterns of older adults who have had major abdominal surgery.

 

Objective: To determine whether pain, depression, and fatigue are significant factors in the return of older adults who had major abdominal surgery to functional status and self-perception of recovery in the first 3 months after discharge from the hospital.

 

Methods: A correlational predictive study involved adults 60 years of age or older who had undergone major abdominal surgery. Data were collected during hospitalization (n = 192), then 3 to 5 days (n = 141), 1 month (n = 132), and 3 months after discharge to home (n = 126) using the Brief Pain Inventory, the Geriatric Depression Scale-Short Form, the Modified Fatigue Symptom Checklist, the Enforced Social Dependency Scale, and the Self-Perception of Recovery Scale.

 

Results: Multiple regression analysis indicated that pain, depression, and fatigue are significantly related to patients' self-perception of recovery and functional status. Pain, depression, and fatigue explain 13.4% of the variation in functional status at 3 to 5 days, 30.8% at 1 month, and 29.1% at 3 months after discharge. These three factors also explain 5.6% of the variation in self-perception of recovery during hospitalization, 12.3% at 3 to 5 days, 33.2% at 1 month, and 16.1% at 3 months after discharge.

 

Conclusions: Pain, depression, and fatigue are important factors to consider in the provision of care to abdominal surgery patients with a relatively uncomplicated postoperative course. Specific interventions to reduce pain, depression, and fatigue need to be evaluated for their impact on the postoperative recovery of older adults.