Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Graduate Nursing


Pain management is one of the biggest challenges faced by health care providers. This is partially due to the subjective nature of the pain experience and subsequent difficulty in individualizing analgesic protocols to fit all influencing factors. The purpose of this study was to assess by quantitative methods, the effects of smoking on satisfaction with pain management in postoperative gynecology patients. A nonprobability sample of 74 postoperative women who had undergone an abdominal (n = 41), a vaginal (n = 22), or a laparoscopy-assisted vaginal hysterectomy ( n = 11) were recruited for the study. Forty five (60.8%) respondents had no history of smoking, 11 (14.8%) were ex-smokers, and 18 (24.3%) of the respondents had smoked within the 6 months preceding surgery. Satisfaction level was measured using a patient satisfaction questionnaire that the researcher modified from an interview survey established by the American Pain Society (APS). Satisfaction with pain management was found not to be statistically significant in respect to age, length of hospital stay, pain intensity, or to respondents always keeping staff informed of their pain. There was, however, a significant correlation between respondents' perceived level of pain control and to smoking/nonsmoking history (r = .33, p = .004). Respondents who had a history of smoking (n = 29), smoked within the 6 months preceding surgery or were ex-smokers, had a lower mean pain intensity (M = 3.55, on a 1-10 scale) than respondents who had never smoked (n = 45; M = 5.2). Respondents who had a history of smoking also had a significantly (F= 3.98,p = .0236) lower level of satisfaction with pain management than those who had never smoked. Overall, the data indicated a need for further research into the effects of smoking on medication metabolism and a need for health care providers to be cognizant of their patients' smoking history. This knowledge is essential to making appropriate medication adjustments to better meet patients' analgesic needs and improve their level of satisfaction with pain management.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Generative organs, Female -- Surgery -- Patients -- Psychology Postoperative pain -- Treatment Tobacco -- Physiological effect



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University