Date of Defense

Spring 4-5-2011



First Advisor

Mary D. Lagerwey, Bronson School of Nursing

Second Advisor

Eva Jerome, Bronson School of Nursing

Third Advisor

Sharie L. Falan, Bronson School of Nursing


The purpose of this study was to investigate the level of familiarity and use of music, guided imagery, relaxation, and distraction for pain control among baccalaureate nursing students at a mid-size public university in the Midwestern United States. Many studies have been done investigating the effectiveness of nonpharmacologic pain relief techniques and found positive results. There have been few studies about nurses and nursing students’ knowledge and use of nonpharmacologic pain relief techniques. An invitation to participate in the study was e-mailed to all undergraduate nursing students a midsized public university in Midwestern United States with a link to the survey on SurveyMonkey©1999-2009. An existing survey that was used to investigate oncology nurses’ use of nonpharmacologic pain relief and factors that influenced their decision to use these techniques was borrowed and adapted with permission from the author. The majority of the nursing students surveyed reported being familiar with music, guided imagery, relaxation, and distraction; however, they did not believe they had enough knowledge to implement these interventions with patients. Nursing students used music, guided imagery and distraction significantly more with themselves than with patients and reported using relaxation significantly more with patients. No significant differences were found between the use of the techniques and the year in the nursing program with the exception of the use of distraction with patients which increased significantly after the first year. Based on previous research, nonpharmacologic techniques are effective. This study found nursing students are aware of these techniques, but lack the confidence to implement them in practice. Further research should be done to investigate the best way to integrate these techniques into the nursing school curriculum.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only