Meaning of Receiving Artificial Nutritional Support in People in the Postoperative Period of Abdominal Surgery

  • Nieves Fuentes González Nurse, Masters in Nursing. Assistant professor, Universidad de Boyacá, Tunja, Colombia. Email:
  • Alejandra Fuentes Ramírez Nurse, PhD in Nursing. Universidad de La Sabana. Chía, Colombia. Email:
Keywords: nutritional support, parenteral nutrition, enteral nutrition, qualitative research,, postoperative period


Objective. This work sought to describe the meaning of receiving artificial nutritional support in people in the postoperative period of abdominal surgery.

Methods. This was a qualitative study of grounded theory, following the guidelines by Corbin and Strauss. The information was collected through 26 in-depth interviews with 21 participants, interned in a tier III health care hospital in the city of Tunja, Colombia.

Results. The study describes four categories, which account for the way in which the person experiences physical, physiological, emotional, and social changes when receiving artificial nutritional support. The categories include stopping eating and becoming artificially fed, decreasing the ability to move to recover movement, experiencing the difficulty of having artificial nutritional support, and reaching the disease to transform life. The data analysis shows that the basic surgical pathology and the artificial nutritional support are sudden events that fragment the daily life of the person. These individuals demand the mobilization of religious, family, and social resources to strengthen the person’s internal and external environment and, thus, achieve the health situation.

Conclusions. The analysis of the meanings shows how the person reflects and interprets the reality of receiving artificial nutritional support, an event that has implicit physical discomfort, emotional changes, and physical appearance, which are determinants in the behavior and practice of artificial nutrition. However, artificial nutritional support becomes for the person an alternative to live and recover the state of health.

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How to Cite
Fuentes González, N., & Fuentes Ramírez, A. (2020). Meaning of Receiving Artificial Nutritional Support in People in the Postoperative Period of Abdominal Surgery. Investigación Y Educación En Enfermería, 38(2).