Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Projects

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Doctor of Nursing Practice

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Family Nurse Practioner

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Chronic pain, Coping Strategies Questionnaire, coping, coping tool, chronic pain self-management, positive coping strategies


Jean DeMartinis

DNP Project Chair

Jean DeMartinis

DNP Project Member Name

Gabrielle P. Abelard

DNP Project Outside Member Name

Kari Allen


Chronic pain is a public health problem that has an effect on 20-30% (100 million) of the population of Western countries, with costs to manage chronic pain ranging from $560 to $635 billion annually. Many chronic body system problems, especially those involving musculoskeletal and neurological sequelae, aggravate the pain sensation over time. Chronic pain is depicted by physical dysfunction, disability, and mood alteration; exacerbated by a lack of appropriate coping strategies. Treatment for patients with chronic pain, by providers, has been proven to be inadequate, secondary to providers’ reports of lack of time and lack of a consistent, efficient, effective protocol, and tool for assessment of patients’ chronic pain and coping. Therefore, it was necessary to investigate a method for providers to assess and intervene with patients to foster improved health outcomes and aid them in coping with chronic pain. The Coping Strategies Questionnaire (CSQ) was developed, refined, and decreased from the original 50-item questionnaire to a more ‘user-friendly’ 14-item version. The shorter CSQ has been proven to be a valid and reliable tool in assessing coping strategies for patients with chronic pain. Consistent results in identifying patients who have low to poor coping strategies have been produced when using the refined 14-item CSQ. The goals and objectives of this quality improvement project were to pilot the use of the CSQ to assess patients with chronic pain within a targeted primary care practice and to offer providers a sustainable use tool that identifies patients’ positive and negative coping mechanisms. With the CSQ data in hand providers were able to intervene when patients demonstrated ineffective coping. This paper describes the results and success of the intervention including providers’ comments and commitment to sustainable use of the CSQ.

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