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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)



Thesis Committee Chairperson

Lisa Ball, PhD, RN, FNP-BC

Second Reader

Bernard Hsu, MD


A quantitative, descriptive research design was employed to assess the utilization, experiences and perceptions regarding Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) among college students who have experienced pain. Nurse Practitioners need to use knowledge of the use of CAM among this population in order to provide the best care for these patients. Sister Callista Roy’s Adaptation Model served as the theoretical framework that guided this study. Human Ethics Board Approval was obtained from Daemen College. An anonymous survey tool created by the primary researcher was distributed via SurveyMonkey® to a convenience sample of students at a small private liberal arts college in Western New York, United States. A total of 71 surveys were completed and returned, 60 of which were used for data analysis. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The majority of respondents were female and associated with studying in a healthcare-related field. Participant ages ranged from 18 to 30 years with a mean of 22.5 years. Results showed that the most popular CAM modality was massage, as well as overall positive experiences and perceptions regarding CAM in relation to many modalities. Further research and education for Western healthcare providers related to CAM in the young adult population who are affected by pain is warranted.