Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Nursing


Faculty of Health and Human Sciences

First Advisor

Mr Gerry Farrell


The purpose of this study was to investigate five factors, which have been identified in the literature as having influence on the experience of postoperative pain. (1) Patient satisfaction with preoperative information, (2) Anticipated postoperative pain, (3) General self-efficacy, (4) Age, (5) Gender. These variables were examined to determine their relationship, if any with postoperative pain. Any relationship between these variables was also examined. Review of the literature revealed considerable research on pain, and that much of that research has been directed at the treatment of, rather than prediction of postoperative pain. Also, these studies have focused on patients who are receiving analgesia via traditional methods. No work has been reported on preoperative estimation of postoperative pain on those patients using Patient Controlled Analgesia as a single method of pain control. For this reason the study group consisted of patients who have undergone abdominal surgery, and have used the Patient Controlled Method of postoperative pain control. One Independent variable, self-efficacy, was shown to be significantly correlated to postoperative pain scores and to contribute to the preoperative prediction of how much postoperative pain an Individual may experience. Weak but significant correlations were also noted between satisfaction with preoperative Information, age and expectation of postoperative pain. The results also demonstrated a significant lack of specific preoperative information of pain and pain control methods amongst the subjects. There were large inconsistencies noted between how much pain subjects experienced and how much pain they had expected to experience. The results are of particular importance to nurses as they affect the nature of preoperative teaching, patient assessment and the provision of effective postoperative pain control, all of which are significant nursing responsibilities.