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Factors Associated with Postoperative Pain among Patients after Cardiac Surgery in the Tertiary Care Teaching Hospital of Karachi, Pakistan.

BACKGROUND: Pain is the subjective feeling of an individual, which affects the overall recovery of patients after cardiac surgery. Postoperative pain is the most inadequately managed symptom of cardiac surgery. Subsequently, there are many factors that can either hinder or facilitate pain management, including patients' beliefs, cultural values, physiological features, hospital policies, and healthcare providers' knowledge and beliefs. The purpose of this research was to identify factors associated with postoperative pain and its management, after cardiac surgery, among patients in a tertiary care hospital in Karachi, Pakistan.

METHODS: Quantitative correlational study design was employed to attain the study purpose. Data were collected from 136 adult cardiac surgery patients admitted in the Cardiothoracic Surgery (CTS) Department, of tertiary care hospital. A self-developed questionnaire tool was used to gather information from patients. Data was then analyzed on SPSS version 19. Mann-Whitney U, Kruskal Wallis, and Spearman tests were applied to find the associations between the pain levels and of the independent variables.

RESULTS: The mean pain scores of the first, second, and third postoperative days were found to be 2.98, 2.96, and 2.98, respectively. The findings also showed that BMI and the types of surgery were significantly associated with postoperative pain. Patients' beliefs regarding drug dependency, fear of adverse effects, and postoperative physical activities were also associated with pain. Furthermore, the nurses' education level and reluctance in medication administration due to fear of adverse effects were found to be significant too.

CONCLUSION: The study identified some of the important factors that were associated with postoperative pain. The results suggest the need for the enhancement of patients' education on drug dependency, adverse effects, and physical activity, before cardiac surgery. The nurses should be educated on pain management keeping the patients' culture and other perceptions of pain in mind.

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