Experiences of the Postoperative Recovery Process: An Interview Study

R. Allvin*, 1, 2, 3, M. Ehnfors4, N. Rawal1, 2, E. Idvall5, 6
1 Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Orebro University Hospital, Sweden
2 Department of Clinical Medicine, Orebro University, Sweden
3 Centre for Evidence Based Medicine and Assessment of Medical Technology, Orebro, Sweden
4 Department of Health Sciences, Orebro University, Sweden
5 Research Section, Kalmar County Council, Sweden
6 Department of Medicine and Health, Linkoping University, Sweden

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Creative Commons License
2008 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestrictive use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Orebro University Hospital, Sweden; E-mail:


Few researchers have described postoperative recovery from a broad, overall perspective. In this article the authors describe a study focusing on patient and staff experiences of postoperative recovery using a qualitative descriptive design to obtain a description of the phenomenon. They performed 10 individual interviews with patients who had undergone abdominal or gynecological surgery and 7 group interviews with registered nurses working on surgical and gynecological wards and in primary care centers, surgeons from surgical and gynecological departments, and in-patients from a gynecological ward. The authors analyzed data using qualitative content analysis. Postoperative recovery is described as a Dynamic Process in an Endeavour to Continue With Everyday Life. This theme was further highlighted by the categories Experiences of the core of recovery and Experiences of factors influencing recovery. Knowledge from this study will help caregivers support patients during their recovery from surgery.

Keywords: Postoperative, recovery, experience, interview, content analysis.