BACKGROUND: Negative emotional reactions and difficulty in communicating are common in patients receiving mechanical ventilation and may adversely affect recovery from cardiac surgery. OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of providing concrete objective information about emotional stress and difficulty in communicating related to mechanical ventilation to Korean cardiac surgery patients. METHODS: A quasi-experimental 2-group design was used. The 22 subjects in the control group received the usual information; the 21 in the experimental group received concrete objective information in addition to the usual information. State anxiety, negative affect, use of sedative and analgesic medications, and difficulty communicating were compared between the 2 groups after surgery. RESULTS: Patients who received concrete objective information experienced less anxiety and negative mood during mechanical ventilation, less difficulty in communicating, and a shorter intubation time than did patients in the control group. The 2 groups did not differ in the amount of sedative or analgesic medication used per hour during mechanical ventilation. CONCLUSIONS: Nursing interventions that include concrete objective information help cardiac patients cope with the stresses associated with surgery and mechanical ventilation.

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