This study examines relationships between gastrointestinal symptoms, uncertainty, and perceived recovery in gastric cancer patients after gastrectomy. Data were collected from 146 patients at an outpatient clinic of a university hospital in Seoul, Korea from October to November 2012. The Gastrointestinal Symptoms Rating Scale, the Mishel Uncertainty in Illness Scale, and questions on perceived recovery of physical, psychological, and social functions were analyzed. High gastrointestinal symptom scores were reported in women younger patients (F=5.55, P=0.005), and in patients without a family history of gastric cancer. The uncertainty score was higher in patients with low economic (F=3.84, P=0.024) and educational status and no family history. Regression analysis revealed uncertainty was the strongest factor associated with recovery. Nurses can assist patients and families to predict and deal with health problems by offering education on progress from diagnosis to postoperative management, promoting all aspects of recovery after gastrectomy.
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