Deakin University

File(s) under permanent embargo

Patient participation in pulmonary interventions to reduce postoperative pulmonary complications following cardiac surgery

journal contribution
posted on 2016-02-01, 00:00 authored by Lauren McTierLauren McTier, Mari BottiMari Botti, Maxine DukeMaxine Duke
BACKGROUND: Clinical interventions aimed at reducing the incidence of postoperative pulmonary complications necessitate patient engagement and participation in care. Patients' ability and willingness to participate in care to reduce postoperative complications is unclear. Further, nurses' facilitation of patient participation in pulmonary interventions has not been explored. OBJECTIVE: To explore patients' ability and willingness to participate in pulmonary interventions and nurses' facilitation of pulmonary interventions. DESIGN: Single institution, case study design. Multiple methods of data collection were used including preadmission (n=130) and pre-discharge (n=98) patient interviews, naturalistic observations (n=48) and nursing focus group interviews (n=2). SETTING: A cardiac surgical ward of a major metropolitan, tertiary referral hospital in Melbourne, Australia. PARTICIPANTS: One hundred and thirty patients admitted for cardiac surgery via the preadmission clinic during a 1-year period and 40 registered nurses who were part of the permanent workforce on the cardiac surgical ward. OUTCOME MEASURES: Patients' understanding of their role in pulmonary interventions and patients' preference for and reported involvement in pulmonary management. Nurses' facilitation of patients to participate in pulmonary interventions. RESULTS: Patients displayed a greater understanding of their role in pulmonary interventions after their surgical admission than they did at preadmission. While 55% of patients preferred to make decisions about deep breathing and coughing exercises, three-quarters of patients (75%) reported they made decisions about deep breathing and coughing during their surgical admission. Nurses missed opportunities to engage patients in this aspect of pulmonary management. CONCLUSIONS: Patients appear willing to take responsibility for pulmonary management in the postoperative period. Nurses could enhance patient participation in pulmonary interventions by ensuring adequate information and education is provided. Facilitation of patients' participation in their recovery is a fundamental aspect of care delivery in this context.



Australian Critical Care






35 - 40




Amsterdam, The Netherlands







Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2015 Australian College of Critical Care Nurses