Date of Award


Degree Name

PhD Nursing

Dissertation Committee

Cynthia D. Connelly, PhD, RN, FAAN, Chairperson; Jane M. Georges, PhD, RN, Committee Member; Caroline Etland, PhD, RN, Committee Member


Acupuncture, nursing, office visits, on site integrative clinics, pain levels, positive patient outcomes


Purpose and Aims. There is limited information about outcomes of care, resource utilization, and associated costs for patients who receive acupuncture in integrative health settings. The purpose of this study was to address this gap through the following aims: To examine: (1) changes in patient pain levels pre/post acupuncture treatments; (2) relationships between receiving acupuncture treatments (number of treatments, length of time, select demographic factors, (age, gender), pain level pre and post acupuncture treatments; (3) relationships between number of treatments, length of time, age, gender, pain level (pre/post acupuncture treatments) and provider visits (pre/post acupuncture treatments); and (4) relationship between acupuncture and provider visit costs within an integrative healthcare system. Rationale/Conceptual Basis/Background. Science of Symptom Management and Relationship-Centered Care Model (RCC), which focus on the collaborative working arrangement of the healthcare system, patients, and providers, informed the study. Methods: Correlational repeated measure design using retrospective data abstracted from medical records of a purposive sample of adults (n = 80) who received acupuncture treatments for pain at a health system integrative clinic. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to describe the sample and examine the relationships between the variables. Results: Statistically significant changes in pain level pre-acupuncture M= 6.89 ± 1.87 and post treatment M = 3.84 ± 2.3 F= (8, 71) = 3.75, p ≤ 05. Multivariate regression indicates the overall model (number of treatments, treatment duration, age, gender, pain level pre-acupuncture treatments) accounts for 22% of the variance in post pain level; pretreatment pain level significantly contributed to the model β = 4.16, p ≤.05. For the 34 patients with pre/post provider visit data, statistically significant positive relationships were found between number of treatments and duration of acupuncture treatments r = .499, pre and post pain levels, r = .379; an inverse relationship between number of provider visits post treatment and age, r = -.351, p ≤ .05. Implications: Acupuncture treatments can decrease chronic pain and exposure to its availability can enhance patient outcomes. Further research is needed to identify ways to increase collaboration across disciplines to incorporate acupuncture to increase cost effective and quality care.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access



Included in

Nursing Commons