Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Mary T. Verklan


The relief of pain is an essential element of nursing practice. Nursing has begun to successfully use art to assess and reduce pain among hospitalized children, surgical patients, and oncology patients. Structured art projects have been used to provide distraction from pain and patient drawings have allowed nurses to assess pain. This project employed grounded theory and thematic analysis to uncover significant concepts in the artists' statements. The Roy adaptation model and Saunders' total pain theory provided the project theoretical framework. The artistic statements and the art of chronic pain patients were examined using thematic analysis to identify recurrent themes. This project explored the insights to chronic pain in the adult patient as evidenced in the posted work. The project also considered how the content of the posted artistic statements informed individual nursing practice and facilitated the reduction of pain in the adult patient suffering from chronic pain. Emergent concepts were used to develop artistic nursing interventions. Suggested modification of nursing practice included drawing as a tool in pain assessment, exploring the meaning of color choices, encouraging mask making, providing distraction, and using art to identify spiritual distress. The proposed nursing actions will allow more effective communication of pain, provide meaningful distraction, intervene in spiritual distress, and encourage creation of an artistic product. Expected outcomes include more effective pain control, greater patient autonomy, and reduced healthcare costs. The application of this new knowledge and skill will make a difference in the lives of chronic pain patients and will therefore promote positive social change.

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Nursing Commons