Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Nursing (MAN)



First Advisor

Deborah Shulmacher


Postoperative pain and anxiety are considered to be a normal, expected part of the surgical experience; however, it is imperative that nurses recognize the consequences of poorly managed pain and anxiety. Unrelieved postoperative pain and anxiety may result in patient dissatisfaction and prolonged recovery with an increased risk of complications. Incorporating multimodal strategies combining pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions has been found to be the most effective approach to managing pain and anxiety. A project was developed to educate nurses, working on a general surgical unit at a large Midwest medical center, on the utilization of integrative therapies to provide more adequate pain and anxiety control for their patients. Three integrative therapy modalities where chosen for nurses to explore hands-on during a training session; hand massage, music intervention, and aromatherapy. Watson’s Theory of Human Caring and Malcolm Knowles Adult Learning Theory provided the framework for the development of a nurse educational module and a model of care. The integrative therapies model of care encourages nurses to create a more healing environment for their patients and to engage in teaching-learning moments with their patients through the use of integrative therapies. Implementation of this project will take place during a professional development day to allow for participation of all staff working on the general surgical unit. Evaluative surveys have been designed to determine if nurses overcome barriers to offering integrative therapies, begin offering them more readily, and consult the integrative therapy program.


SC 11.MAN.2015.Selvaraju.S