Date of Award

Spring 5-26-2018

Document Type

Doctor of Nursing Practice Final Manuscript

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice



First Advisor

Joseph Burkard, DNSc, CRNA


Purpose: To implement a chronic pain management regimen that utilizes a self-care approach, integrating all dimensions of the biopsychosocial model to optimally treat the complex needs of younger Veterans with comorbid PTSD and chronic pain. The project aims to provide more insight and knowledge on safer chronic pain management among Veterans, reflected by improvement in patient’s pain level, quality of life, and depression scale.

Design: The project was implemented at the ASPIRE Center, a domiciliary residential rehabilitation treatment program for Veterans who suffer from PTSD and traumatic brain injury. The 5A’s behavior change model was utilized during clinic visits and during follow-up phone calls. During each month’s clinic visit the provider and the Veteran discussed self-care modalities they thought would work best for them. Subsequent telephone follow-ups assessed the efficacy of the treatment and identified any barriers to treatment.

Results: The intervention gained modest improvements in pain level and quality of life, and a negative effect in depression symptoms. Results were affected by high drop-out rates as a result of irregular or unplanned discharges caused by multiple confounding factors. When surveyed post hoc, 97% of the participants felt the collaborative effort was beneficial.

Clinical Implications: Self-care utilization can provide a safe and effective way to manage chronic pain among Veterans with PTSD. This can be implemented in primary care and any site where effective chronic pain management is indicated. Overall, certain aspects of self-care interventions were effective in managing chronic pain.

Included in

Nursing Commons