Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Lindsey L. Cohen - Chair

Second Advisor

Erin Tone

Third Advisor

Chris Henrich


Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure used to correct structural spinal damage or abnormalities. Recovery is painful and consists of a minimum 3-day hospital stay. Specific body positioning is necessary for healing but is difficult to maintain due to physical discomfort. The purpose of this study was to use a single-subject multiple baseline design to compare the current practice of using standard hospital pillows to a body-sized pillow for increasing comfort and decreasing pain in pediatric patients recovering from spinal fusion surgery. Four adolescents who had recently undergone spinal fusion surgery served as participants. Outcome measures included self- and nurse-report, heart rate, and requested medication. Three patients found that the BodyPillow® increased their comfort as they recovered from surgery; the fourth reported that he was less comfortable. No changes in pain were reported with the BodyPillow®. Results should help guide medical care and future research regarding pediatric spinal fusion recovery.


Included in

Psychology Commons