Effects of Coping Instruction in Reducing Young Adolescents’ Pain After Major Spinal Surgery

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BackgroundEnduring pain following major orthopaedic surgery is a major challenge for adolescents.PurposeTo evaluate the effects of coping instruction and concrete-objective information on adolescents’ postoperative pain and focus on potential applications of these interventions for orthopaedic nursing practice.Design/MethodA randomized controlled trial of 66 young adolescents (age 11–14) undergoing major spinal surgery for idiopathic scoliosis.ResultsThe intervention that focused only on coping instruction was the most effective intervention on postoperative Day 2. On postoperative Day 4, adolescents receiving coping instruction (coping alone or coping plus information) reported less pain than those not receiving coping instruction.DiscussionInterventions that direct adolescent patients’ attention to learning coping strategies they can use during recovery to lessen pain may be more efficacious than others following major spinal surgery.

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