Nursing student researches pain

By Andrea Bundon

It started after watching her mother-in-law suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and it’s now a major study here at the University of Calgary.

Elizabeth Graveline is a third-year student in the Faculty of Nursing and the recipient of a Markin-Flanagan Studentship. Currently, she is the research assistant for a chronic pain study at the University of Calgary.

“We hope to examine the

health profiles of people with chronic pain,” explained Graveline. “[Then] determine if there are differences in the health profiles of people who perceive themselves as living well and those who perceive themselves as living less well.”

To qualify for the study, subjects must have experienced pain on an almost daily basis for at least two years and not be diagnosed with any palliative conditions. They can then request a questionnaire and mail it back to the Faculty of Nursing.

Graveline hopes to receive over 200 responses.

“[It asks] how they view themselves as functioning, well or not so well,” said Graveline.

The questionnaire also asks about methods of coping with pain on a daily basis. The idea is to examine how the subjects who view themselves as functioning well cope compared to those who feel they are not functioning well. For example, is one group using alternative therapies such as acupuncture on a more regular basis?

This study is just the first step for Graveline. After completing her degree in Nursing she is applying for Master studies.

“I’m interested in pursuing further studies to see how I can help people with chronic

illnesses. I may specialize in research on rheumatoid arthritis or mental health.”

People interested in participating in the study can call 220-8376 and leave their name and mailing address. A questionnaire will be mailed to them along with a pre-paid envelope. All questionnaires are coded for confidentiality.

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