Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Projects

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Degree Program

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Degree Track

Family Nurse Practioner

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded




Annette B. Wysocki, Ph.D., RN, FAAN



DNP Project Chair

Annette B. Wysocki, Ph.D., RN, FAAN



DNP Project Outside Member Name



Background: Pain is a physical, emotional, and psychological symptom that causes discomfort and leads to physiological consequences that can damage tissue, alter neurological pathways, and cause severe psychological distress. The combined use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies can reduce pain and lead to an improvement in patient health. Purpose: The purpose of this quality improvement project/evidence-based practice intervention was to review concepts related to pain and analyze the current use of music and massage CAM therapies in a primary care setting.

Methods: The Gate Control Theory was used in this project describing pain as "a category of experiences signifying a multitude of different and unique experiences, having different causes, and characterized by different qualities varying along a number of sensory and affective dimensions.” Patients in an outpatient New York City clinic were asked to assess their pain levels after the use of CAM therapies. Patients received music and/or massage therapy two times a week, every two weeks for 12 weeks and pain was categorized using self-assessment tools. Patients were instructed to complete a pre- and post-procedure evaluation at two weeks intervals throughout the 12-week evaluation to document their pain levels.

Results: The results show that patients using music and/or massage therapy in combination with medications for pain management had reduced pain.

Conclusions: Based on the final 12 weeks pre/post assessment, all 14 participants reported better sleeping patterns, moods, and reduced pain after the two therapies. Further, music therapy participants showed a relatively better mood outcome over massage participants because they could choose positive music.

Keywords: pain, complementary and alternative medicine, hypnosis, massage, music

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