Perceived stress level of the postoperative coronary artery bypass graft patients in the intensive care unit

Dell G. Mars, Donna Coffey, Ruby Sheree Miller, Staci Taylor, Amanda Rufini


Objective: The purpose of this study was to measure the level of stress perceived by postoperative coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) patients. Coronary artery bypass graft is the most used surgical intervention to treat patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). Many patients consider CABG surgery as life threatening and stressful. There is a need for nurses to be aware of the patient’s perception of stress to create a more therapeutic environment within the intensive care unit (ICU).

Methods: The research method was a quantitative descriptive survey design and descriptive statistics were used for data analysis. A convenience sampling method was used resulting in a sample size of 60 participants who had recently undergone a CABG surgical procedure. The participants completed the Intensive Care Unit Environmental Stressor Scale (ICUESS) survey.

Results: The results of the ICUESS survey were analyzed according to rank order and mean with standard deviation scores for each of the 40 items. Findings showed the following stressors were ranked as the highest level of stress: “Being in pain”, “missing your husband or wife”, “having tubes in your nose or mouth”, and “only seeing family and friends for a few minutes each day”.

Conclusions: The participants in this study were not highly stressed. Pain was the highest ranked stressor. Nurses need to be aware of the perceived level of stress by the postoperative CABG patients to reduce stressors and enhance recovery. The Neuman Systems Model was appropriate for this study.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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