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Date of Award

Winter 12-7-2022

Document Type




Thesis Committee Chairperson

Dr. Janice Hobba-Glose, DNS, RN

Additional Advisor

Pamela Schmidt, MSN, RN


chronic pain, pain management, women, gender bias


A qualitative research design with an action research approach was utilized to identify barriers and facilitators to women seeking healthcare for chronic pain. Katherine Kolcaba’s theory of comfort was the framework that guided this study. In total, four women were interviewed using structured interviews designed to explore these barriers and facilitators to help gain a better understanding of the process and their experiences. Inductive content analysis was used to identify themes from the participant’s responses. These themes included facilitators of “self-advocating and persistence” and “seeing the whole picture” as well as barriers which included, “feeling dismissed”, “stigmatized”, and experiencing “gender bias”. By focusing on the facilitators to managing chronic pain, healthcare providers can improve quality of care for women, improve the patient-provider relationship, and reform practice to eliminate gender bias.