Preoperative predictors of moderate to intense acute postoperative pain in patients undergoing abdominal surgery

Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2002 Nov;46(10):1265-71. doi: 10.1034/j.1399-6576.2002.461015.x.


Background: Pain is a sensory and emotional experience that is influenced by physiologic, sensory, affective, cognitive, socio-cultural, and behavioral factors. Consistent with the perspective to improve the postoperative pain control, the present study has the purpose of assessing the effect of presurgical clinical factors, psychological and demographic characteristics as predictors for reporting moderate to intense acute postoperative pain.

Methods: A prospective cohort study was performed with 346 inpatients undergoing abdominal elective surgery (ASA physical status I-III, age range 18-60 years). The measuring instruments were Pain Visual Analog Scale, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale. Multivariate conditional regression modeling was used to determine independent predictors for moderate to intense acute postoperative pain.

Results: Moderate to intense acute postoperative pain was associated with status ASA III (odds ratio (OR) = 1.99), age (OR = 4.72), preoperative moderate to intense pain (OR = 2.96), chronic pain (OR = 1.75), high trait-anxiety and depressive mood moderate to intense (OR = 1.74 and OR = 2.00, respectively). Patients undergoing surgery to treat cancer presented lower risk for reporting moderate to intense pain OR = 0.39, as well as those that received the epidural analgesia and multimodal analgesia with systemic opioid (OR = 0.09 and OR = 0.16, respectively).

Conclusions: The identification of predictive factors for intense acute postoperative pain may be useful for designing specific preventive interventions to relieve patient suffering. Especially because few of these variables are accessible for medical intervention, which would improve the clinical outcomes and quality of life of patients at risk of moderate to intense acute postoperative pain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen / surgery*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain, Postoperative / etiology
  • Pain, Postoperative / physiopathology
  • Pain, Postoperative / psychology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Preoperative Care*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Regression Analysis
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative / psychology*