Early discharge following abdominal aortic aneurysm repair: Impact on patients and caregivers

Authors

  • Mildred A. Jones,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Acute/Tertiary Care, University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, Pittsburgh, PA 15261
    • Department of Acute/Tertiary Care, University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, 336 Victoria Building, Pittsburgh, PA 15261.
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    • Assistant Professor.

  • Leslie A. Hoffman,

    1. Department of Acute/Tertiary Care, University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, Pittsburgh, PA 15261
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    • Professor.

  • Michel S. Makaroun,

    1. Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15261
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    • Associate Professor.

  • Thomas G. Zullo,

    1. Department of Acute/Tertiary Care, University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, Pittsburgh, PA 15261
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    • Adjunct Professor.

  • Lakshmipathi Chelluri

    1. Department of Critical Care Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15261
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    • Associate Professor.


Abstract

Although early discharge is common place, little is known about its impact after abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) surgery. We sought to prospectively describe patient outcomes and caregiving experience after early discharge following elective AAA repair using a standard or endovascular grafting system (EGS) procedure. Fifty-one patients (Standard, n=25; EGS, n=26) completed questionnaires on symptoms and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) while hospitalized and 1, 4, and 8 weeks after discharge. Data were also obtained from caregivers. HRQoL decreased at Week 1 in both groups but returned to near baseline by Week 8. Standard AAA patients experienced more symptoms and activity limitations, but these were concentrated in Week 1. Most caregivers were positive about caregiving and required no additional resources. Findings suggest that most patients who undergo early discharge following elective AAA surgery experience few problems. Those problems that occur concentrate in the week following discharge, suggesting the need for closer monitoring at this time. © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 25:345–356, 2002

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