Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Nursing (MAN)



First Advisor

Joyce Miller

Second Advisor

Kirsten McHale

Third Advisor

Kristine Zeitler


Chronic noncancer related pain has a negative impact on a patient’s quality of life and also significantly affects the patient’s family and community. In the United States, millions of individuals continue to struggle with persistent pain and symptoms due to a lack of fully effective treatments. The routine utilization of opioid medications for chronic noncancer related pain has been found to be harmful in the long-term. In addition, there is limited research regarding the effectiveness of long-term use of opioid medication to manage chronic noncancer related pain. Most of the research conducted is based on short-term efficacy studies, comparison studies of various opioid medications, retrospective data studies, psychological measures and self-report measures. Long-term use of opioids impacts mood, function, quality of life of patients with chronic noncancer related pain and has an economic impact on society. A current literature review ascertains the benefits and limitations of nonpharmacologic interventions in the management of chronic noncancer related pain. The role of tai chi in the management of chronic noncancer pain is substantiated by the concepts derived from Margaret Newman’s (1999) Theory of Health as Expanding Consciousness. If successful, the implementation of tai chi as an adjuvant therapy for chronic noncancer pain will be introduced consistently to all patients receiving care at an outpatient pain clinic located in a large Midwestern medical center.