Enhancing recovery in older patients undergoing abdominal surgery: Examining the effect of a preoperative preparation program using a quasi-experimental design


preoperative preparation program
older adults
abdominal surgery
family support

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Penphumphuang, I., Matchim, Y., Mahawongkhajit, P., & Boontoi, T. (2023). Enhancing recovery in older patients undergoing abdominal surgery: Examining the effect of a preoperative preparation program using a quasi-experimental design. Belitung Nursing Journal, 9(4), 339–348. https://doi.org/10.33546/bnj.2629
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Accepted for publication: 2023-06-19
Peer reviewed: Yes

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Background: Older adult patients often experience delayed postoperative recovery due to a lack of self-efficacy in engaging in physical activities during early rehabilitation. Concurrently, family caregivers play a crucial role in caring for older adults. However, the extent of family involvement in improving self-efficacy and facilitating recovery following major abdominal surgeries in older adults remains largely unexplored.

Objective: This study aimed to examine the effect of a preoperative preparation program on the recovery of older patients undergoing major abdominal surgeries.

Methods: A quasi-experimental study with a two-group, pretest-posttest design was conducted. The participants included 60 older adult patients undergoing abdominal surgeries at Thammasat University Hospital, Thailand, between September 2019 and March 2020. Participants were selected by purposive sampling with the inclusion criteria and were assigned to the experimental (n = 30) or the control (n = 30) groups using matched pair according to the type of operation. The control group received standard care, while the intervention group underwent a two-week preoperative preparation program developed based on self-efficacy theory and family support. Data were collected using validated tools. Recovery was assessed at one week and two weeks after surgery. Descriptive statistics, as well as dependent and independent t-tests, were used for data analysis.

Results: The results revealed that the intervention group had significantly higher mean recovery scores than the control group at one week (M = 56.93, SD = 16.42; M = 44.60, SD = 16.30, t = -2.92, df = 58, p <0.01) and two weeks after surgery (M = 66.64, SD = 8.63; M = 61.68, SD = 7.86, t= -2.33, df = 58, p <0.05) when comparing between the two groups.

Conclusion: The preoperative preparation program effectively enhanced recovery one week and two weeks after surgery. The study findings can be valuable for nurses in implementing the preoperative preparation program to facilitate recovery among older adult patients undergoing abdominal surgeries.


Supporting Agencies

This study was supported by Thammasat University Research Unit in Palliative Care for Adults and Older Adults


Copyright (c) 2023 Issarapong Penphumphuang, Yaowarat Matchim, Prasit Mahawongkhajit, Thanyarat Boontoi

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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Declaration of Conflicting Interest

The authors declared no conflict of interest in this study.


The authors are indebted to all patients in this study. Thanks to the Faculty of Nursing, Thammasat University, and Thammasat University Hospital for their support. The authors were also grateful to the reviewers for their critical comments, which helped to improve the manuscript. The study was supported by the 1st International Conference on Palliative Care and Family Health Nursing, June 26-27th, 2023, Faculty of Nursing, Thammasat University.

Authors’ Contributions

IP: research conception and design, data collection, analysis, discussion of results, and draft manuscript preparation; YM reviewed the results and revised the draft; PM has made substantial contributions to the conception and design. TB revised and drafted the manuscript preparation. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript.

Data Availability

Datasets generated and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

Declaration of Use of AI in Scientific Writing



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