Date of Conferral





Health Services


Sue Subocz


Sickle cell disease (SCD) is marked by excruciating chronic pain, commonly known as pain crisis. SCD healthcare practitioners (HCPs) have been employing palliative care as a mainstream treatment option to manage SCD pain crises using mainly opioid analgesics for years. Due to the current opioid crisis, however, it has become imperative to explore alternative regimens to manage the pain and associated comorbidities of SCD. Thus, the goals of this study included exploring alternative treatment options for SCD pain crisis management with the intent of decreasing SCD patients’ dependency on opioid-based or related analgesics while reducing the frequency of pain crises as well as the number of hospitalizations all geared toward improving quality of life for SCD patients in terms of health status, living standards, and life expectancy. The study was also conducted to analyze and understand the participants’ experiences and perceptions of alternative treatment regimens and is expected to offer a unique contribution to the literature. The nature of this qualitative study was both descriptive and analytical, with a case study design. The frameworks used were the health belief model, biopsychosocial-spiritual model, and transtheoretical model. Data were collected from a sample of 11 participants, with interviews conducted by phone and email due to COVID-19. The code and coding techniques were employed in data collection, processing, and analysis. The study findings would benefit the SCD patients, HCPs, and caretakers as they learned of these alternative regimens with the expectation of improving their pain management strategies. Nevertheless, findings confirmed the need for further research on alternative treatments or interventions for SCD patients to prevent or reduce the frequency of pain crises and associated complications and thus increase the quality of life and effect social change.