Postoperative symptoms have a major impact on the quality of life of postgastrectomy patients. This study examined the effect of potential risk factors other than medical perspectives (type of surgery or reconstruction technique) on postoperative symptom experience. Subjects were 82 Japanese postgastrectomy patients (mean age = 63.63 years, SD = 10.21; men = 50, women = 32). To control the surgical effect on symptom experience, subjects were limited to only those who had undergone distal subtotal gastrectomy and been discharged within the past 3 years without indication of recurrence. Main study variables were attribute, health status (disease stage, adjuvant therapy, time since surgery, postoperative symptoms and their frequency), eating habits, depression, and emotional support. The result showed that only depression (β = .24, p < .05) was a significant predictor of postoperative symptoms. Frequency of symptoms was significantly predicted by marital status (β = −.32) and depression (β = .21). Health status and eating habits did not contribute to the incidence of postoperative symptoms among the subjects. The results suggest that to control the postoperative symptoms, encouraging the patient to develop healthier eating habits, enhancing psychological status, and providing appropriate social support may be needed.
Takako Maeda, MS, RN, is Graduate Student, Department of Human Care Science, Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Science, University of Tsukuba, Tennoudai, Tsukuba, Japan.
Tsunetsugu Munakata, DrHSc, is Professor, Department of Human Care Science, Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Science, University of Tsukuba, Tennoudai, Tsukuba, Japan.
Correspondence to: Takako Maeda, MS, RN, Department of Human Care Science, Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Science, University of Tsukuba, D520, 1-1-1 Tennoudai, Tsukuba 305-8577, Japan (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).