Pain intensity and postoperative functional assessment after heart surgery

Juliana Bassalobre Carvalho Borges Daniele Leandra Mengue de Paula Ferreira Sebastião Marcos Ribeiro de Carvalho Antonio Sérgio Martins Rubens Ramos Andrade Marcos Augusto de Moraes Silva About the authors

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate, in patients submitted to heart surgery, the intensity of pain and the level of functionality during the preoperative period, on the 7th postoperative day and at hospital discharge. A secondary objective was to evaluate any possible relationship between pain and functionality taking into account the following variables: gender, age, first heart surgery or re-interventions, use of cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB), type of surgery and physiotherapeutic follow-up. METHOD: Forty-one patients who had undergone elective heart surgery at the Teaching Hospital of Botucatu/UNESP were studied. Pain intensity was measured using the VAS scale and functionality by the FIM scale (Functional Independence Measure) in the physical domain. RESULTS: It was observed that the intensity of pain was higher on the 7th postoperative day when compared with the preoperative period and at hospital discharge. No pain rating score was shown in the preoperative period, while a median pain intensity of 3 (moderate pain), was noted at hospital discharge. The highest levels of functional loss occurred on the 7th postoperative day compared to the total scores obtained in the preoperative period and at hospital discharge. A significant correlation between pain and functionality was observed; a decrease in level of pain between the 7th postoperative day and hospital discharge contributed to an increase in the functional levels. CONCLUSION: The evaluations performed in the preoperative period provided predictable results. The evaluations carried out on both the 7th postoperative day and at hospital discharge enabled a classification of patients according to their functional gain or loss, which contributed to identify those who require more care and training of their abilities.

Cardiac surgical procedures; Pain; Pain, postoperative; Pain measurement; Rehabilitation


Sociedade Brasileira de Cirurgia Cardiovascular Rua Afonso Celso, 1178 Vila Mariana, CEP: 04119-061 - São Paulo/SP Brazil, Tel +55 (11) 3849-0341, Tel +55 (11) 5096-0079 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
E-mail: bjcvs@sbccv.org.br