Pain and postoperative health-related quality of life in inguinal hernia patients
Rowder, Cheryl B.
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The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between selected variables (i.e., pain issues, hernia characteristics, and personal attributes) and postoperative health-related quality of life in inguinal hernia patients. This study identified preoperative variables predictive of lower postoperative health-related quality of life. The study entailed non-experimental retrospective analyses of variables generated during an ongoing longitudinal cooperative clinical study to examine patient outcomes after inguinal hernia repair. Fourteen Veterans Affairs Medical Centers in the continental United States participated in the study. Data were collected from eligible participants upon entry into the project and at 3 months post-surgery. The sample consisted of 560 veteran participants. Canonical analyses were used to examine the relationship of pain issues, hernia characteristics, and personal attributes with postoperative health-related quality of life. High preoperative pain predicted lower postoperative health-related quality of life. Fear of injury and pain avoidance did not uniquely contribute to this relationship. This finding supported a singular difference in chronic and acute pain. Hernia characteristics were not associated with postoperative health-related quality of life. Age and functional limitations were predictive of postoperative outcomes. Younger age predicted physical recovery while older age predicted mental recovery. High functional limitations were associated with lower health-related quality of life regardless of other factors.