A Descriptive, Qualitative Study to Explore the Pain Experience during Negative Pressure Wound Therapy for Postsurgical Abdominal Wounds

Unver S., Eyi S., Ozkan Z. K.

Ostomy Wound Management, vol.64, no.12, pp.38-48, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 64 Issue: 12
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.25270/owm.2018.12.3848
  • Journal Name: Ostomy Wound Management
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.38-48
  • Eskisehir Osmangazi University Affiliated: No


© 2018 HMP Communications.All Rights Reserved.Pain during negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) has been reported in the literature. Purpose: The study was conducted to describe patients' pain experience, pain-coping skills, and the effect of NPWT-related pain on daily life activities following abdominal surgery. Method: Using a descriptive, qualitative design, semi-structured face-to-face interviews were conducted between April 3, 2016 and December 26, 2016, in the surgical ward of a university hospital in Edirne, Turkey. Patients aged ≥18, receiving NPWT, who had at least 1 dressing change, and with no diagnosis of diabetes mellitus or neurological disease were included. Interviews were conducted at the patients' bedside 1 day after wound debridement. All wounds were covered with the NPWT black foam dressing, and NPWT settings were -50 mm Hg to -125 mm Hg. One (1) researcher led the interviews using a voice-recorder while 2 researchers observed and took notes. Data were analyzed using Colaizzi's phenomenological method. Results: The themes identified were: 1) pain experience, 2) pain coping, 3) pain prevention, and 4) affects daily life activity. Patients mostly reported pain during foam dressing changes and wrap removal unless the dressing change occurred while receiving anesthesia. Self-applied pain-coping strategies between dressing changes included limiting mobility, trying not to cough, applying pressure, or walking; these strategies were mostly ineffective. The results are supported by many findings from other studies investigating the effects of NPWT on patient pain. Conclusion: This study provides further insight into the patients' wound pain experiences during NPWT and its effect on daily activities. Increased awareness about NPWT-associated pain and pain control measures as well as qualitative and controlled quantitative studies are needed. Inservice training and educational meetings should be conducted at surgical clinics to expand surgical nurse and physician knowledge and awareness of how to efficiently manage pain during NPWT treatment and related procedures.