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Korean J Women Health Nurs > Volume 10(4); 2004 > Article
Korean Journal of Women Health Nursing 2004;10(4):351-359.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4069/kjwhn.2004.10.4.351   
A Study on Distress and State Anxiety Level in Gynecological Postoperative Patients under PCA Management
Young Sook Suh, Mi Soon Hong
1Department of Nursing, College of Oriental Medicine, Dongshin University, Korea. yskim8997@hotmail.com
2Department of Nursing, College of Medicine, Chonnam National University, Korea.
A descriptive study was conducted to examine the levels of distress, state anxiety, and physiologic responses in postoperative patients under patient controlled analgesia (PCA), and to determine correlations among the variables. METHOD: The study sample included women who underwent an elective hysterectomy procedure or other gynecologic surgeries (N=100). Subjective distress was assessed by visual analog scales around 8 hours postoperatively. Trained nurses collected objective distress data through observation of subject's behavior and vital signs. Data were analyzed with frequencies, percentages, means, Pearson correlation coefficients, ANOVA, and the Scheffe post test using SPSS/PC 11.0. RESULT: Subjective distress, objective distress, and state anxiety scores were relatively low, except pain scores (5.31 out of 10.0) among sub-scales of subjective distress. Women who had a total abdominal hysterectomy showed significantly higher levels of both subjective distress and state anxiety than those after a minor gynecologic surgery. In relationships among variables, subjective distress correlated positively with postoperative state anxiety, but not with the amount of analgesic medication, verified by further analysis on sub-scales of subjective and objective distress. The higher the levels of state anxiety, the higher the levels of tension, dyspnea, facial change, and systolic blood pressure observed. CONCLUSION: Regardless of effective pain management, most postoperatively experienced distress in gynecological patients was derived from surgery associated anxiety and pain. Specific psychological strategies should be established as well for those with high levels of state anxiety to facilitate prompt recovery.
Key Words: Anxiety; Distress; Patient controlled

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