Post discharge problems in women recovering from coronary artery bypass graft surgery

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Journal Article
Australian Critical Care, 2004, 17 (4), pp. 160 - 165
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This study was conducted to describe the types and frequency of problems Australian women experience when recovering at home in the first 6 weeks following coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery and the relationship between symptom experience and psychological distress. A convenience sample of 52 women (mean age 66.31 years, range 53-79 years) who had uncomplicated CABG surgery was selected from two tertiary hospitals in Sydney. A descriptive design was used with information related to post-operative problems collected by telephone interview at 1, 3 and 6 weeks post discharge using a semistructured questionnaire. Psychological distress was assessed at 12 weeks post discharge using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Responses were categorised, collapsed and described using frequencies and percentages. Relationships were assessed by Spearman's r. The most common problems in the first and third weeks post discharge were sleeplessness and nausea or poor appetite and chest incision pain. Although problems improved over the first 6 weeks post-operatively, approximately one-quarter of the women still reported chest incision pain and almost 40% reported problems with leg wounds and oedema. The number of problems experienced at 6 weeks was significantly correlated with depression at 12 weeks. These findings support the importance of a preoperative education programme that includes anticipation of physical problems in the immediate post-operative period and a follow-up of female patients in the early transition period following hospital discharge. © 2004 Australian College of Critical Care Nurses Ltd. Published by Elsevier Australia (a division of Reed International Books Australia Pty Ltd.).
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