Date of Award


Degree Name

PhD Nursing

Dissertation Committee

Jane M. Georges, PhD, RN, Chairperson; Patricia A. Roth, EdD, RN; Laurie Ecoff, PhD, RN


CAM, Distraction, Pain, Self-efficacy, Therapy, Videogames


Background: Pain affects more than 75 million Americans and is the primary reason people seek medical attention. Pain is a common cause of disability and diminished quality of life. While anecdotal evidence exists regarding nurses’ use of distraction therapy activities in pain management, little empirical research data is available.

Purpose: To examine the effects of video game use (VGU) on pain perception, pain interference perception and perceived self-efficacy in pain management in adult inpatients.

Conceptual Model: The conceptual model is based on Self-efficacy Theory (Bandura, 1995). The antecedents of the concept of distraction therapy with use of VGs in patients’ self-management of pain, is pain itself. The defining attributes are mastery and control, social observations, positive appraisals, and social supportive relationships. The consequences are self-efficacy in non-pharmacological strategies in pain management and behavioral analgesia.

Aims: 1) Describe the demographic variables (age, gender, race/ethnicity, educational level, admitting diagnosis, day of hospitalization, and length of stay); pain location, analgesia variables; VG variables, and total time researcher engaged with subjects of the sample, 2) Describe self-efficacy and pain interference perception following video game distraction therapy (VGDT), 3) Compare changes in pain perception prior to and following VGDT, and 4) Identify factors that predict changes in pain perception following VGDT. This feasibility study utilized a purposive sample of 30 hospitalized adults in a neuro trauma progressive care unit, and an orthopedic acute care unit.

Findings: Subjects’ age ranged from 19-79 years, M = 41.47 ± 17.52, with 22 males (73.3%) and eight females (26.6%). Total time researcher was engaged with study subjects ranged from 35 – 90 minutes (M = 63.03 ± 13.10). Pre pain perception M = 4.93 ± 2.49, and post pain perception M = 3.17 ± 2.2, a 36% decreased following VGDT. Self-efficacy perception following VGDT mean score was high (M = 6.97 ± 2.30) overall. There were no predictor variables identified.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access