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Research - Chronic Pain and Occupation

Occupational Therapy Research
Investigating Chronic Pain, Quality of Life, and Occupational Performance

OT Graduate Students
Occupational Therapy Graduate Students Bianca Sauceda, Amy Czuba, Carrie Powers, and Ellen Rome present the results of their survey research on the OUCH CPQ- 2 Chronic Pain Assessment . Dawn Evans, MS, OTRL, Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Coordinator and Research Committee Reader, looks on.

A series of Misericordia University Occupational Therapy research investigations have explored chronic pain and its effect on quality of life and occupational performance. All of the studies were conducted by graduate occupational therapy students under the direction of Dr. Grace Fisher, Ed.D., OTR/L, Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy.

The first of these investigations resulted in the development of a grounded theory of occupation and chronic pain called “The Paradigm of Life.” This study is available in an on-line journal at: The citation for this study is: Fisher, G., Albright, L., Finelli, J., Levine, L., Rooney, C., Zanghi, J. (2006). Paradigm of Life: A Grounded Theory of Occupational Renewal in Persons with Chronic Pain Californian Journal of Health Promotion, 4(2), 155-167.

A second investigation was a phenomenological study in which participants relayed their subjective experience of living with chronic pain. The report of this study was published in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy. The reference citation for this is: Fisher, G., Emerson, L., Firpo, C., Ptak, J., Wonn, J., and Bartolacci, G. (2007). Chronic Pain and Occupation: An Exploration of the Lived Experience. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 61, 290-302.

A third study produced an occupational therapy assessment tool called the Pain and Functional Performance Assessment (PFPA). The PFPA may be downloaded here: PFPA. The citation for this study is: Fisher, G.S., Beckwith-Cohen, C., Edwards, S., Howe, C., Smith, L., and Sugrue, T. (2007). Developing and Field Testing the Pain and Functional Performance Assessment for Individuals with Chronic Pain. Accepted in February 2007 for future publication in the Journal of Musculoskeletal Pain.

Researchers in a fourth study developed a pain assessment instrument called the Occupational Understanding of Chronic Pain Questionnaire (OUCH-CPQ). The OUCH-CPQ may be downloaded here: OUCH-CPQ.. The reference citation for this unpublished study is: Fisher, G., Bristow, D., Jandris, L., Mast, B., and Vanluvender , B. (2007) Development of the OUCH-CPQ: An Occupation-Based Assessment for People with Chronic Pain. Unpublished Manuscript. Occupational Therapy Department, Misericordia University, Dallas PA.

Occupational therapy graduate students Penny Levens, Jim Prince, and Rebecca Smith conducted a field test and developed the OUCH CPQ 3 (pdf download), a new version of the Occupational Understanding of the Challenges of Chronic Pain assessment. Additionally, occupational therapy graduate students Amy Czuba, Carrie Powers, Ellen Rome, and Bianca Sauceda served as collaborators in this instrument development process. Czuba, Powers, Rome, and Sauceda onducted a nationwide survey to test the content validity of the instrument from the standpoint of occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants.


OT Graduate Students
"Occupational Therapy graduate students Rebecca Smith, Jim Prince, and Penny Levens present the findings of their OUCH- CPQ- Field Test to their faculty Research Committee."

Permission to Use PFPA and/or OUCH-CPQ Permission is granted to those who download the PFPA and/or OUCH-CPQ to use the assessments in practice. Dr. Fisher asks those who download the instruments to please provide feedback on their efficacy to