The purpose of this secondary analysis was to describe symptom management strategies used by elderly patients (n = 236) 3 and 6 weeks after coronary artery bypass surgery (CABS). Three weeks after surgery, the most frequently used strategies were rest to manage shortness of breath (53%) and fatigue (53%), medications for incision pain (24%), and repositioning for swelling (35%) and sleep disturbance (18%). Overall, fewer patients experiencing sleep disturbances (39%), incision pain (39%), swelling (46%), and appetite problems (17%) reported using a strategy to manage their symptom. Nurses must assist patients in symptom identification and problem solving to accomplish effective symptom management.
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