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Keywords:

  • complication;
  • gastrointestinal;
  • gastroparesis;
  • psychology;
  • surgery

Aims and objectives

To explore the effects of comprehensive mental intervention on the recovery time and symptoms of depression in patients with postsurgical gastroparesis syndrome.

Background

Postsurgical gastroparesis syndrome may occur after abdominal surgery. The development of postsurgical gastroparesis syndrome is believed to be influenced by neuropsychiatric factors, manifest as psychological dysfunction and distress.

Design

Randomised controlled trial.

Methods

A total of 120 patients with postsurgical gastroparesis syndrome were randomly divided into a mental intervention group (n = 60) and a control group (n = 60) by odd or even numbers. The mental intervention group received comprehensive mental intervention including support, counselling, music and massage plus all aspects of conventional therapy. The control group received only conventional therapy, including a three-cavity gastric tube, fasting, parenteral/enteral nutrition, routine care and health guidance. Pre intervention and postintervention depression levels were assessed in both groups by the Center for Epidemiological Survey Depression Scale. Gastric function recovery was assessed in all patients.

Results

Postintervention depression scores were significantly reduced in the mental intervention group, and pre-/postdifferences were significantly greater compared to control group scores. The mental intervention group had significantly shorter times for symptom disappearance (nausea, vomiting, abdominal distention), extubation duration, eating recovery, gastric drainage volume >600 ml/day, gastroparesis recovery, as well as shorter hospital stays and lower hospital expenses.

Conclusions

Comprehensive mental intervention improved negative emotions and depression and shortened recovery time of patients with postsurgical gastroparesis syndrome.

Relevance to clinical practice

Mental intervention is important to postsurgical recovery, and primary nurses are encouraged to understand how to care for postsurgical patients physically and psychologically, with at least one nurse in the postsurgical setting trained to provide mental intervention.