Date of Award


Degree Name

Nursing (D.N.P.)


College of Nursing

First Advisor

Dr. Andrea C. Bostrom

Second Advisor

Dr. Cynthia Beel--Bates

Third Advisor

Kari Harburn


The overall purpose of this quality improvement project was to assess if there was an interest to add auricular acupuncture to a substance abuse program. The two guiding questions of the Doctor of Nursing Project were (a) how can auricular acupuncture be helpful when treating patients with substance abuse in a selected organization? (b) what information is needed for both staff and patients to make an informed decision regarding auricular acupuncture? The Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (PARiHS) framework was used as the theory framework for implementation of evidence-based research into an organization. The facilitator in the PARiHS framework used the Adult Learning Theory when teaching the staff and patients about an implementation change in the selected organization. The Adult Learning Theory principles were applied during the facilitation of the presentation “Introduction of Auricular Acupuncture” to the staff and patients of the non-profit substance abuse agency located in an urban Midwestern city. The Adult Learning Theory was utilized to assess if there was an interest in implementing auricular acupuncture in the agency’s rehabilitation and detoxification programs. The outcome of the project had clarification for the DNP student and the organization that there is a significant level of interest in implementing and including auricular acupuncture in the patients’ treatment plan while the patient is going through detoxification or the rehabilitation process from illicit drugs or alcohol. Several staff members expressed interest to be trained to do the auricular acupuncture procedure. The cost of training the staff is the largest hurdle in a non-profit organization. Further investigation is needed to see if auricular acupuncture could be a billable item to insurance companies for reimbursement. Key words: auricular acupuncture, acupuncture in substance abuse, introduction of auricular acupuncture, quality improvement project.

Additional Files

M. Lyons PP.pdf (1879 kB)