Sample Nursing Essays on Interventions for Chronic Pain

Chronic pain mostly affects the aged population. Chronic pain can be defined as pain that lasts for more than twelve weeks and is usually caused by the inflammation or dysfunction of the nervous system. Chronic pain is characterized by numbing pain that persists for months and at times for years. The PICOT question is a modern evidence-based practice used to investigate, research and find solutions for nursing problems. The pertinent PICOT question for investigating the efficacy of the various interventions with regard to chronic pain is: In adult patients suffering from chronic pain how effective is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs) pain medication compared to cognitive behavioral therapy?

A search for relevant scholarly articles in the PubMed database using the keywords “chronic pain,” “aged patients,” “NSAIDs,” “anti-seizure,” and “cognitive-behavioral therapy” yielded fifty results. When the Boolean operators of AND, OR and NOT are applied to the search the results are narrowed down to fifteen articles. To further limit the scope of the search, the results of the search are limited to articles published within the past three years and six articles are explored. Out of the six, I picked the best three articles by Joypaul et al. (2019), Nøst et al. (2018), and Tompkins et al. (2019). Joypaul et al. (2019) argues that chronic pain is best managed by a multi-approach that incorporates various medical alternatives in the treatment of chronic pain.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) relieve chronic pain by targeting the human nervous system. NSAIDs are more than painkillers as they reduce inflammations of the nerves, reduce blood clotting and tackle various fevers (Joypaul et al., 2019). NSAIDs include aspirin and ibuprofen, and are easily accessible to the average American patient. However, ease of access to these drugs results in addiction as most patients suffering from chronic pain get hooked up on NSAIDs (Joypaul et al., 2019). Nøst et al. (2018) argues that NSAIDs drugs are not the best medical intervention for chronic pain as they have a corrosive effect responsible for the bruising of sensitive internal human organs such as the stomach lining and that of the kidneys. Bruising of the stomach lining leads to ulcers whereas bruising of the kidney may lead to serious kidney complications such as chronic kidney disease.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is used together with other medical interventions in the treatment of chronic pain. Cognitive-behavioral therapy involves various therapeutic forms such as talk therapy and animal-assisted therapy to help people suffering from chronic pain to identify and develop skills that can help them change negative thoughts and behavior (Nøst et al., 2018). Tompkins et al. (2019) argues that by changing their perceptions of negative thoughts people suffering from chronic pain can become aware of the pain and develop better skills of coping with their pain. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is important in changing how people view pain and the discomfort associated with it. However, changing a patient’s perception of pain cannot be relied on to fully resolve the pain the patient is undergoing (Tompkins et al., 2019). Therefore, cognitive behavioral therapy can only be used in conjunction with other treatment interventions such as NSAIDs to treat chronic pain.

Chronic pain is a ubiquitous problem that mostly affects the aged in society. A multidisciplinary approach involving both cognitive behavioral therapy and NSAIDs with regard to chronic pain offers the best intervention to chronic pain.




Joypaul, S., Kelly, F., McMillan, S. S., & King, M. A. (2019). Multi-disciplinary interventions for chronic pain involving education: A systematic review. PloS one14(10). Retrieved from

Nøst, T. H., Steinsbekk, A., Bratås, O., & Grønning, K. (2018). Twelve-month effect of chronic pain self-management intervention delivered in an easily accessible primary healthcare service-a randomised controlled trial. BMC health services research18(1), 1012. Retrieved from

Tompkins, D. A., Hobelmann, J. G., & Compton, P. (2017). Providing chronic pain management in the “Fifth Vital Sign” Era: Historical and treatment perspectives on a modern-day medical dilemma. Drug and alcohol dependence173, S11-S21. Retrieved from