Date of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Type

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Patsy Anderson

Committee Chair School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Member 2

Dr. Karen Rich

Committee Member 2 School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice


Orthopedic shoulder surgery is a common therapy for many medical conditions, but the healing process for orthopedic shoulder surgery can be adversely impacted by chronic shoulder pain. Frequently, chronic pain is not adequately controlled by opioid analgesics provided to patients during the surgical healing process, resulting in greater pain and diminished postsurgical mobility. The focus of this Doctor of Nursing Practice project was to examine the question of whether, among male and female adult patients (40-64 years of age) with a history of secondary chronic shoulder pain lasting three or more months who have undergone orthopedic shoulder surgery, the use of an ON-Q pain pump provided after surgery with hydrocodone as the standard treatment for pain relief, compared to standard pain relief alone, promoted improved patient post-surgical outcomes in terms of two- and eight-week postsurgical pain, two- and eight-week range of shoulder motion, and length of postoperative therapy.

This project used a quantitative methodology and retrospective data review design, to analyze data previously collected by the organization that served as the project site. De-identified data provided by the organization to the researcher, of participants who met specific criteria between January 2017 and October 2018 was reviewed to evaluate the benefit of utilizing an ON-Q pain pump in conjunction with standard treatment of hydrocodone for pain relief. The retrospective data analysis used paired-samples t-tests and mixed-effects tests to compare the intervention and control conditions regarding postsurgical pain and range of motion outcomes. The project findings failed to indicate that the use of the ON-Q pain pump offers significant benefits as an adjuvant pain relief medication to recommend its consistent use in practice; especially when cost is considered.