The purpose of this study was to assess and describe the multidimensional postoperative pain experience of patients (N = 194) undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) using the McGill Pain Questionnaire. Postoperative pain significantly decreased from postoperative day 2 to postoperative day 3 for all components of the McGill Pain Questionnaire. Sensory words chosen from the McGill Pain Questionnaire on postoperative day 2 included sharp, sore, aching, and tender. Affective words chosen included exhausting on postoperative day 2 and tiring on postoperative days 2 and 3. The evaluative word annoying was chosen for both postoperative days 2 and 3. The present pain intensity (PPJ) rating completed on a scale firm no pain = 0 to excruciating pain = 5, showed a mean intensity rating of 1.08 for postoperative day 2 and 0.67 for postoperative day 3. These findings describing the typical pattern of postoperative pain are clinically significant in the differentiation of “normal” postoperative pain from pain experienced with postoperative complications from CABG surgery.
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