Effect of Relaxation Exercises on Controlling Postoperative Pain

Sacide Yildizeli Topcu, RN, MSc; Ummu Yildiz Findik, RN, MSc, PhD


Pain Manag Nurs. 2012;13(1):11-17. 

In This Article


A total of 60 patients undergoing upper abdominal surgery participated in this study. The average age of the patients was 48.38 years. In all, 80% of the patients were primary and secondary school graduates, 51.7% were male, and 55% had undergone open cholecystectomy. It was noted that 66.7% of the patients participating in the study had had no previous surgical procedure, and 63.3% had no chronic disease. No significant correlation was found between the pain levels and these variables.

When pain levels before and after the relaxation exercises were examined, the proportion of patients who mentioned no pain had increased from 1.7% to 36.7%, the proportion of patients experiencing irritating pain had decreased from 36.7% to 18.3%, and the proportion of patients who had very severe pain had decreased from 8.3% to 1.7% after the relaxation exercises (Table 1).

The fact that the pain was reduced after the relaxation exercises was statistically significant (z = −5.497; p < .001). The study demonstrated that 71.7% of the patients felt less pain after the relaxation exercises (Table 2).

Before the relaxation exercises, the correlation between decreasing pain levels and every passing postoperative day was statistically significant (r = −0.267; p < .05; Table 3).


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