Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Nursing (M.S.N.)

Degree Program

College of Nursing

First Advisor

Louette Lutjens

Second Advisor

Jean Nagelkerk

Third Advisor

Theresa Bacon-Baguley


A correlational ex post facto design was used to study the relationships between methods of pain control and client perception of pain, achievement of the physical therapy regime and length of stay following total joint replacement surgery. Continuous epidural infusion and patient controlled analgesia (PCA) were the pain control methods examined in the study.; Perception of pain was measured using a 6-word descriptor verbal rating scale. Achievement of physical therapy was measured using the activity criteria on the case care map used at the study hospital. Length of stay was measured using daily census records. (1) The study site was a 112 bed acute care hospital. (2) The convenience sample consisted of 30 subjects using epidural and 30 subjects using PCA pain control methods. All measurements were taken on the second post-operative day following total joint replacement surgery.; Clients using epidural analgesia reported less pain {dollar}(p=.00){dollar} than those using PCA analgesia. There were no significant difference between the two groups with regard to ability to achieve physical therapy regime or the length of stay.


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