• anxiety;
  • older patients;
  • pain management;
  • relaxation technique

Inadequate pain control in older patients who have undergone abdominal surgery can lead to many complications. This study investigates the effect of systematic relaxation techniques on pain and anxiety in older patients undergoing abdominal surgery. One hundred twenty-four patients were randomly assigned into the experimental and control groups. The systematic relaxation techniques consisted of older patients in the experimental group slowly reading relaxing sentences during recovery in ambulation after the surgery.

Patients' satisfaction with pain and anxiety relief was recorded, as was their use of opioid analgesia. Statistically significant differences in pain and anxiety, and in analgesic use, were reported between the patients in experimental and control groups after the intervention. These relaxation techniques can be incorporated into the care plan to reduce pain and anxiety after surgery as well as offering a measure for increasing the patients' independence in pain management control.