Title

The Efficacy of Narcotic Contracts in Preventing Drug-Seeking Behaviors in Adolescents Experiencing Chronic Pain Related to Sickle Cell Anemia

Graduation Date

5-2017

Document Type

Campus Access Only Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Department

Nursing

Director of the Honors Program

Gigi Gokcek, Ph.D.

First Reader

Luanne Linnard-Palmer, Ed.D., R.N.

Second Reader

Harvey Davis, Ph.D.

Abstract

A primary job of nursing is to advocate for patients. If a patient is in pain, it is the nurse who is responsible for making sure that their pain gets treated. Adolescents with sickle cell anemia experience chronic pain related to vaso-occlusive crises. Once the symptoms of this disease start, they will, “persist throughout life, and there is no cure” (Atoui, 2015, p. 425). These patients require an effective pain management regimen. Due to their long-term use of narcotics, these adolescents can begin to demonstrate drug-seeking behaviors. Narcotic contracts are an intervention created to try and prevent drug-seeking behaviors in patients using narcotics to treat chronic pain.

This pilot study included distributing a survey to pediatric nurses to obtain data that will suggest whether or not narcotic contracts are effective in preventing drug-seeking behaviors in adolescents with sickle cell anemia. The population of this study was all pediatric nurses. The target population was pediatric nurses in Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), Rho Alpha, and of Northern California Society of Pediatric Nurses (SPN) Chapter Forming. Convenience and snowball sampling was used, as well as giving the survey to members of STTI, Rho Alpha and Northern California SPN Chapter Forming. The sample size was 7 participants. The results were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Overall, the participants agreed that NCs have the potential to be effective tools and that they would be willing to use them with this population of patients.

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