Symptom Clusters in Persons Undergone Abdominal Surgery

Monday, 30 July 2012: 11:10 AM

Julaluk Baramee, PhD
Faculty of Nursing, Burapha University, Chonburi, Thailand
Supaporn Duangpaeng, DNS
Faculty of Nursing, Burapha University, Muang Chonburi, Thailand

Learning Objective 1: The learners will be able to apply knowledge regarding symptom clusters in providing care for patients undergone abdominal surgery.

Learning Objective 2: The learners will be able to analyze research data in different ways.

Post abdominal surgery symptoms cause patient suffering, complication, delay recovery and decrease activity of daily living. Finding symptom cluster could help professionals providing comprehensive and individualized care.


This secondary data analysis, from two original studies, aims to examine and compare symptom clusters among patients having abdominal surgery.


Data were collected from two tertiary hospitals and one secondary hospital. The sample was 250 patients having abdominal surgery. Data were collected by demographic data form, post abdominal surgery complication and symptom assessment scale. Descriptive statistics and factor analysis were used to analyze data.


On the first post-operative day, there were two symptom clusters. The first symptom cluster included 1) post-operative pain, anxiety and insomnia; and the second cluster included flatulence and fatigue. Post-operative pain contributed to form different symptom clusters between two studies. On the third post-operative day, a study conducted in tertiary care setting had only one symptom cluster while the other study conducted in a secondary care setting had two symptom clusters: the first included 1) post-operative pain, flatulence and fatigue and the second cluster included anxiety and insomnia.


Discrepancy in operation time and pain management in the first post-operative day, contributed to different symptom clusters. Therefore, a basic knowledge of symptom cluster could be used to develop setting-appropriated guidelines to effectively manage post-operative symptom for persons undergone abdominal surgery and research program related to post-operative symptom cluster.