A psychological analysis of factors affecting acute pain in postoperative patients

Original Article, Pol J Public Health 2019;129(1): 9-12

Lilia Suchocka1, Kazimierz Popielski2, Małgorzata Pasek3

1 Institute of Pedagogy and Psychology, The Jan Kochanowski University (JKU) in Kielce, Poland
2 Institute of Biofeedback and Noo-psychosomatic in Lublin, Poland
3 State Higher Vocational School in Tarnów, Poland

DOI_disc_logo 10.2478/pjph-2019-0002

© 2019 Medical University of Lublin. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonComercial-No Derivs licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/)


Introduction. The most frequent type of acute pain is the postoperative pain. The postoperative situation consists of three stages: the preoperative stage, the surgical phase, and the postoperative stage. Each of the stages is equally important, and it is crucial that medical staff should minimize the stress and discomfort related to hospitalization. Specialists suggest that the preparation to surgery should correspond to the patient’s style of responding to stress. The level of individually experienced pain depends not only on the type of surgery, but also on psychological factors and the patient’s personality traits.
Aim. The aim of the study was to analyze the factors that affect the experience of acute pain in postoperative patients. 

Material and methods. The study was conducted in Lublin, Poland, and comprised 100 patients of the local surgical wards. After incomplete tests were excluded, the group of 68 patients (37 women and 31 men, aged 20-73) was selected. The following test methods were used: The McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ) by R. Melzack, Test Noo-dynamiki [The Test of Noo-Dynamics] (T.N-D) by K. Popielski, Kwestionariusz Poczucia Odpowiedzialności [The Sense of Responsibility Questionnaire] (KPO) by L. Suchocka, The IPAT Anxiety Scale Questionnaire (Self Analysis Form) by R.B. Cattell. 

Results. The study results show that the evaluation of pain is affected, at the statistically significant level, by the patients’ subjective experience of feeling ill, their surgery-related discomfort, and the intensity of pain. The patients who are not oriented towards future goals and tasks, closing upon themselves, evaluate the postoperative situation as difficult and distressing. The orientation towards new goals motivates the patients to fast recovery.
Conclusion. The test results confirmed the research hypotheses. The study findings may be useful for medical professionals interested in the functioning of an individual in the situation of disease.

Keywords: postoperative pain, acute pain, pain experience evaluation, feeling ill.

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