Objective: To compare sleep and fatigue experiences of women before hysterectomy and at 3 and 6 weeks after surgery, to compare symptoms by type of surgical procedure, and to examine the biopsychosocial contextual factors related to symptoms.
Design: A descriptive repeated measures study assessed sleep and fatigue using questionnaires and objective wrist actigraphy monitoring for sleep.
Setting: Data were collected in women's homes at least 2 days before surgery, and at 3 and 6 weeks postoperatively.
Participants: A convenience sample of 25 women scheduled for hysterectomy.
Results: There was significantly higher self-reported sleep disturbance 3 weeks after surgery compared with baseline. Women who had vaginal hysterectomy continued to experience sleep disturbance and fatigue 6 weeks after surgery, while those who had abdominal hysterectomy reported better sleep and less fatigue at 6 weeks compared with baseline. The number of awakenings recorded with actigraphy increased postoperatively for both groups, and younger women experienced more wake time during the night than older women. Level of education was positively related to preoperative fatigue severity.
Conclusions: Findings suggested poor sleep and fatigue during the postoperative period should be evaluated in light of women's ages, level of education, and type of surgical procedure.