Coping support as rated by back surgery patients

Päivi K. Leikkola, Mika T. Helminen, Eija E-M. Paavilainen, Päivi M. Åstedt-Kurki


Object: Shorter hospital care periods have brought on new challenges for hospital staff caring for patients and families. Newresearch knowledge of supporting patients and their family members can help to develop their care. This quantitative, descriptivestudy addresses external coping support to back surgery patients and families and associated factors as rated by them six weekspostoperatively.

Methods: Data were collected from 61 patients and 50 family members in Finland in 2008-2010. The importance of varioussupport forms was measured by a new instrument and overall postoperative coping assessed using the Visual Analog Scale.

Results: For both patients and families, the patient’s unchanged behaviour and stable intra-familial emotions, together with thepatient education atmosphere were the most important support forms. Patients appreciated staff presence and attention givento self-care motivation, whereas family members felt that hospital staff had not adequately expressed presence or attended topatient education needs. Participants who had experienced stable patient behaviour and intra-familial emotions, rated theiroverall coping higher 6 weeks postoperatively.

Conclusion: Education and staff support affect coping even after some time has elapsed since surgery.

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Clinical Nursing Studies
ISSN 2324-7940(Print)   ISSN 2324-7959(Online)

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