Date of Award

Spring 5-31-2020

Document Type

Doctor of Nursing Practice Final Manuscript

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice



First Advisor

Joseph F. Burkard, DNSc, CRNA


Purpose: Chronic low back pain in adults is difficult to manage and can lead to clinical, psychological, and social consequences. Providers often have restricted clinic time that prevents patient education regarding self-care and non-pharmacological therapies.

Design: This nurse practitioner-led, evidence-based project incorporates monthly telephone calls to improve patient pain, enhance quality of life, decrease opioid usage, increase physical activity, and promote the utilization of non-pharmacological multimodal therapies.

Methods: Implementing a monthly telephone call utilizing motivational interviewing and a 5 A’s guided questionnaire assisted in providing individualized treatment plans. Data outcomes include pain scores, quality of life scores, number of opioid pain medications, amount of intentional physical activity, and utilization of non-pharmacological multimodal therapies.

Results: Quality of life scores improved with each phone call and were not affected by pain medications. Higher pain scores were reported when taking one opioid medication. The most common non-pharmacological therapies used by patients were thermotherapy (heat/ice) and exercise but did not contribute to lower pain scores.

Conclusion: Chronic low back pain is difficult to treat and often requires a variety of modalities to improve function. The utilization of telephone calls was a viable and cost-effective method of interaction with patients that promoted health care access and patient education.

Clinical Implications: Utilizing the 5 A’s behavior change model, motivational interviewing techniques, and monthly telephone calls to patients resulted in improved patient-reported quality of life scores, increased patient knowledge of non-pharmacological therapies, improved patient treatment plans, and increased revenue for the pain management clinic.

Included in

Nursing Commons