Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Nursing (MAN)



First Advisor

Joyce P. Miller DNP, RN

Second Advisor

Kristin McHale DNP, RN

Third Advisor

Andrea Eickhoff MS, RN, RN-BC


Chronic pain in America is a major health concern. Literature reveals a correlation between chronic pain and previous exposure to trauma and adult health. Early assessment of previous traumatic experiences and chronic stress in adolescents within chronic pain management is a necessity. In an adolescent chronic pain rehabilitation intensive outpatient program at a large Midwestern teaching medical institution, nurse assess adolescents experiencing chronic pain, but have no standardized approach to screen for trauma. A multi-disciplinary team was formed to determine the best approach to assess for trauma and implement a standardized measurement tool for nurses. Using Newman’s concepts of authentic presence, pattern recognition, and higher level of consciousness, nurses will be educated on creating a caring presence to create an environment where adolescents will feel comfortable sharing their stories. In addition, the use of resiliency training throughout the adolescent’s chronic pain management treatment will help them face life’s adversity. Assessing trauma in adolescents with chronic pain is essential to nursing practice. If nurses feel comfortable and are thoroughly educated in trauma assessment, it allows the patients to have early referral to Trauma Focused- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, improves their health outcomes, and helps to manage their chronic pain.


SC 11.MAN.2020.Ellingson.A