Pain after cesarean: a pilot study assessing pain and health-related quality of life in women after cesarean section
Subocz, Elizabeth Gayle
MetadataShow full item record
Purpose: This thesis addresses feasibility issues of conducting a descriptive study of pain and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in women after Cesarean section (c-section). Objectives: Feasibility issues surrounding population access, chart completeness for review, and preference for online data collection were investigated. Prevalence and prediction of postoperative pain and HRQOL at six-weeks was addressed to generate hypotheses for future study. Methods: A descriptive pilot design was used, collecting a convenience sample of 41 women recruited two hours prior to a planned c-section at Kingston General Hospital. Consenting women completed preoperative questionnaires via computerized tablet or paper and pen. Preoperative data included pain, HRQOL, anxiety, depression, somatization, HCU, and demographics. Six weeks postoperatively, women completed pain, HRQOL, and HCU questionnaires through the internet, postal mail, or telephone. A chart review was used to collect health and obstetrical history, and acute postoperative pain. Results: An average of two participants per week were recruited, with a participation rate of 83.7%. Online questionnaires were preferred by 34 women (83%) preoperatively, and 15 women (48.4%) postoperatively. Almost 40% of patient charts were incomplete, missing symptoms reported in the immediate postoperative period. Twenty-four percent of the sample was lost to follow-up. Mild postoperative pain was reported by seven women (23) within 24 hours of completing the questionnaire. Bodily pain and the physical component of HRQOL were worse both pre- and post-operatively than age- and sex-matched norms. Postoperative pain at six weeks was predicted by tubal ligation, pain expectancy, and severe postoperative acute pain. Postoperative HRQOL scores were correlated with preoperative HRQOL score, depression, somatization, and preoperative pain. HRQOL physical composite score, bodily pain scores, and trait anxiety were predictive of healthcare use. Conclusion: The planned c-section population is accessible for research purposes, however timing and mode of follow-up should be carefully considered due to the demands of newborn care. A larger study evaluating the prevalence of chronic pain after c-section is needed, in which the role of depression, anxiety, somatization, and pain expectancy in pain outcomes and the impact on healthcare use is investigated.