Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Michelle K Ullery, DNP, APRN, CNP

Second Advisor

Susanne M. Cutshall, DNP, APRN, CNS


Primary dysmenorrhea is a common gynecological condition associated with painful

cramps during menstruation in the absence of other diseases. It impacts large populations of women worldwide yet is often disregarded and inadequately treated. The ways in which women are treated for this condition often bring forth issues including overuse of medications, drug dependence, adverse reactions from medication use, and increased medical expenses. The utilization of non-pharmacological options has been shown to be effective in managing pain related to primary dysmenorrhea, including the complementary and integrative treatment of acupressure. Guided by Jean Watson’s Human Caring Science Theory, this scholarly DNP-FNP project explored the use of acupressure to reduce the severity of primary dysmenorrhea in women. Women (N= 14) were asked to participate in an acupressure education class and preform acupressure at acupoints LI 4, SP 6, and SP 8 during one menstrual period. Pre- and post- intervention questionnaires were completed by the participants to measure the effectiveness of the acupressure intervention. The post intervention questionnaires indicated reduced levels of pain in relation to primary dysmenorrhea. These findings are pertinent to the role of the nurse practitioner as they suggest the importance of utilizing integrative modalities including acupressure as a means of treatment. The implications of this scholarly project can be utilized by all women experiencing pain related in primary dysmenorrhea and indicate the potential benefits of utilizing complementary and alternative modalities of health.


SC 11.DNP.2024.Britton.T