Effectiveness of a relaxation technique to increase the comfort level of patients in their first postoperative attempt at getting out of bed was tested on 42 patients, aged 18 to 65, who were hospitalized for elective surgery. Study group patients were taught the relaxing technique: control group patients were not taught the technique. Each group had an equal distribution of cholecystectomy, herniorrhaphy, and hemorrhoidectomy patients. Blood pressure, pulse, and respiratory rates of subjects in both groups were compared prior to surgery and after the postoperative attempt to get out of bed. Subjects' reports of incisional pain and bodily distress were measured via a pain and distress scale after their attempt at getting out of bed. Amount of analgesics used in the first 24 hours following surgery was examined. Mean differences in report of incisional pain and body distress, analgesic consumption, and respiratory rate changes were statistically significant, supporting the hypothesis that use of a relaxation technique to reduce muscular tension will lead to an increased comfort level of postoperative patients.
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