Postoperative pain management discharge teaching in a rural population

Pain Manag Nurs. 2009 Jun;10(2):76-84. doi: 10.1016/j.pmn.2008.07.003. Epub 2009 Jan 4.


With health care increasingly administered on an outpatient and in-home basis, the knowledge and education of any patient population including discharged postoperative patients are essential ingredients to optimal pain management. The purpose of this study was to implement and evaluate in a rural setting a predischarge patient education intervention focused on self pain management of uncomplicated postsurgical patients after being discharged home. A total of 146 patients completed a pretest knowledge and experience questionnaire and then were randomly assigned to the education intervention group (n = 87) or the control group (n = 59). The control group received the usual standards of care. One week after discharge, 68 patients (47%) returned a completed a post-test knowledge and experience questionnaire, Brief Pain Inventory, and a patient pain log used to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention. Results indicated that although there was no statistically significant difference between the groups regarding knowledge and experience about pain, postoperative pain, and interference of pain with activities of daily living 1 week after discharge, those that received the intervention had lower pain scores and less interference of pain with activities.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Hospitals, Rural
  • Humans
  • Idaho / epidemiology
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurse's Role
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Pain, Postoperative / epidemiology
  • Pain, Postoperative / prevention & control*
  • Pain, Postoperative / psychology
  • Patient Discharge*
  • Patient Education as Topic / organization & administration*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Program Evaluation
  • Self Care / methods
  • Self Care / psychology
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Washington / epidemiology