Leg Alignment in Beach Chair Position Yielding Optimal Outcomes in Shoulder Surgery Patients

Student Author(s)

Allie Jobes

Faculty Mentor(s)

Susan Dunn, PhD, RN , Kristina Gryzbowski and Connie Vander Boon

Document Type


Event Date



Shoulder surgeries are routine in the orthopedic setting; however, patients report high pain intensity and interference with daily life postoperatively. There are no specific standards for positioning patients in a beach chair position during shoulder surgery, which may influence patient outcomes. Complications due to beach chair position have included neurologic, cerebrovascular and cardiovascular problems in recent studies. This study aims to describe patient outcomes in the beach chair position by comparing frog and straight-legged alignment. Leavell and Clark’s Level of Prevention Theory provides the conceptual framework for the study because it emphasizes the importance of the nurses’ role in primary prevention. The study consists of adult participants undergoing outpatient shoulder surgery. Once recruited and informed consent is obtained, the nurses will administer a McGill Pain Questionnaire in addition to the established preoperative assessment. Subjects will be randomly assigned to a group: frog or straight-legged beach chair. A nurse will repeat the McGill Questionnaire in addition to the standard follow-up assessment one day postoperative. The sample size is to be determined. Research will be conducted at an outpatient surgical center in West Michigan. SPSS statistical software will be used for analysis. ANOVA tests will be used to determine whether frog or straight-legged beach chair has on average a significant difference in pain intensity. Results and conclusions are pending. The study’s small sample size, restrictive criteria for eligible participants and observation under only one surgeon limit the study’s generalizability. It is anticipated that this research will launch future studies examining the nurses’ role in positioning patients to reduce postoperative pain intensity and interference with daily activities.


This material is based upon work supported by Spectrum Health South Pavilion.

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