Thursday, July 12, 2007
This presentation is part of : Complementary Health Issues
Influence of a Breathing Technique on Postoperative Incisional Pain
John McDonough, CRNA, EdD, Nurse Anesthetist Program, University of North Florida, School of Nursing, Jacksonville, FL, USA and Juergen Osterbrink, CRNA, MSN, PhD, School of Nursing, Hospital of Nuremberg, Nuremberg, Germany.
Learning Objective #1: Describe the implications and effects of untreated pain
Learning Objective #2: Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of non-pharmacological pain intervention

This experimental study was designed to investigate the influence of a cognitive behavioral technique on elective abdominal-surgical and orthopedic patients at seven different time points within the first 72 postoperative hours. It examines the effect of deep breathing relaxation on the anxiety, distress, and incisional pain levels of postoperative surgical patients. The sample respondents, (n=161) who fulfilled the criteria for inclusion in the study were divided into experimental and control groups. Patients from the experimental group received a structured training in the breathing relaxation technique in the preoperative period. The control group was treated as usual on the wards involved. All patients in each grouped received a Patient Controlled Analgesia (PCA) pump for their pain control postoperatively, following a preoperative demonstration. The results support that the cognitive behavioral technique affects postoperative perception of pain. Pain was measure at 7 specific times: T1 = preop evening; T2 = day of surgery (DOS) at 0800 Hrs; T3 = DOS at 21:00 Hrs; T4 = Postoperative Day (POD) #1 at 08:00 Hrs; T5 = POD #1 at 21:00 Hrs; T6 = POD #2 at 08:00 Hrs; T7 = POD #2 at 21:00Hrs. Pain ratings for the experimental group were significantly lower (p< 0.05) at T3, T4 and T5. Overall the findings suggest that the implementation of a deep breathing relaxation technique positively influences the postoperative course of elective abdominal-surgical and orthopedic patients. The subsequent need for implementation of behavioral cognitive techniques in postoperative clinical practice is outlined. Suggestions regarding implications for practice and research are made.