Date on Paper


Document Type

Doctoral Paper

Degree Name




Committee Chair

Hardin-Fanning, Frances

Committee Member


Author's Keywords

chronic musculoskeletal pain, fasting,intermittent fasting,inflammation



Background: Chronic musculoskeletal pain was a significant problem in this primary care clinic. A total of 75% of the primary care providers (PCPs) agreed to consider an alternative treatment for chronic pain and Intermittent fasting (IF) was introduced as an option.

Purpose: Quality improvement project to introduce IF as an adjunct to traditional pain management for chronic musculoskeletal pain, evaluate PCPs’ application, and patient response to provider recommendation of IF.

Methods: A virtual continuing education (CE) program on IF was presented to PCPs in family medicine to establish baseline competency. For two months, 29 patients were recommended IF who presented with chronic low back pain (N=13), chronic neck pain (N=7), and osteoarthritis (N=9). Retrospective chart reviews verified that PCPs recommended and documented the use of IF. Within two weeks, telephone calls collected patients' pre- and post-intervention continuous fasting hours and pain perception in response to IF.

Results: Chart reviews showed 62.5 % of PCPs recommended IF. A paired t-test was conducted to compare pre-(M = 7.78, SD = 0.74) and post-intervention (M = 11, SD = 1.51) continuous fasting hours, and a significant positive difference was calculated from these fasting hours; t (28) = 10.8, p = < .001. There was a 36% increase in continuous fasting hours post-intervention, but the Fisher’s Exact test (p = .05) did not indicate a significant association between change in continuous fasting hours and pain improvement.

Conclusion: Although a change in fasting hours did not lead to pain improvement, the

recommendations by PCPs and patients' willingness to trial IF were positive outcomes.

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Nursing Commons