Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Marilyn S. Murphy
Every year, millions of Americans suffer from either chronic or acute pain that results in tremendous healthcare cost, rehabilitation, and loss of work productivity. Pain is an unpleasant sensation associated with sensory and emotional experiences that can cause potential or actual tissue damage. One plausible solution to managing pain is the use of nonpharmacological modalities such as guided imagery. The purpose of this project was to determine if there was a difference in pain scores following pharmacological interventions and the use of guided imagery among postoperative same day surgical patients. Guided imagery is a nonpharmacological modality that uses pictures, music, and imaginary scenes to help heal the body in addition to using relaxation techniques and mental images for the management of pain. This project included the translation of evidence into practice using guided imagery on a 25-bed same day surgery unit (N = 34 patients), guided by Kolcaba's comfort theory. The findings of this project included using guided imagery for same day surgery patients who rated their pain greater than 4 on the traditional pain scale of one to ten, with one equaling no pain and ten equaling worst pain. The results of the evaluation showed a significant decrease in pain scores between premedication to postmedication (p < 0.001), premedication and postguided imagery (p < 0.001), and postmedication and postguided imaginary (p < 0.001). Guided imagery has been demonstrated to be efficient and cost effective methods to reducing pain. This project indicated that use of nonpharmacological and pharmacological interventions working together could be more effective for pain management in same day surgical patients.