Date of Award


Degree Name

PhD Nursing

Dissertation Committee

Cynthia D. Connelly, PhD, RN, FAAN, Chairperson; Jane M. Georges, PhD, RN, CDR; Dennis L. Spence, PhD, CRNA, NC, USN


Auricular Acupuncture, mental health, nursing, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder--PTSD, sleep disturbances, veterans


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has emerged as a significant problem among Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) veterans. Disturbed sleep is one of the most frequently reported symptoms among OEF/OIF veterans with PTSD. PTSD itself is impairing, but the burden of this disorder is likely heightened when accompanied by sleep disturbances. Sleep disturbances have been associated with a 75-90% increased risk of co-morbid conditions, increased levels of depression and anxiety, daytime sleepiness and fatigue, reduced psychomotor performance, diminished work productivity, and decreased quality of life. These consequences of disturbed sleep emphasize the critical need for additional evidence based therapies to treat PTSD related sleep disturbances among OEF/OIF veterans with PTSD. Increasingly, non-pharmacologic therapies are being investigated for sleep disturbance among PTSD patients. However, few investigations have examined the efficacy of Complementary and Alternative (CAM) therapies on sleep disturbances among veterans with PTSD. CAM practices are emerging in the Department of Defense, yet, there are a limited number of well designed methodologically sound studies to investigate CAM therapies. The overall purpose of this study was to conduct a small scale feasibility study to examine whether the use of an auricular acupuncture regimen improves sleep quality for OEF/OIF veterans with PTSD and self-reported sleep disturbance. Our approach was to conduct a small scale feasibility study to test the acceptability of an auricular acupuncture regimen for sleep disturbance, examine feasibility of study design, and test efficacy of an auricular acupuncture regimen for sleep disturbance among OEF/OIF veterans with PTSD.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access



Included in

Nursing Commons