Self-Organization in Chronic Pain: A Concept Analysis


  • Diane Monsivais MSN CRRN

    Doctoral Student, Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Diane Monsivais, MSN CRRN, is a doctoral student at the University of Texas School of Nursing at Houston and a clinical instructor, School of Nursing, College of Health Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX. She may be reached at the UT School of Nursing, 6901 Bertner Ave., Houston, TX 77030, or


The purpose of this article is to examine the concept of self-organization in chronic pain using Rodgers' (2000) evolutionary approach. This article describes the antecedents, attributes, and consequences of self-organization in chronic pain. Self-organization in chronic pain may be achieved through the attributes of being believed, accessing credible resources, and taking action and responsibility. Self-organization occurs when the patient with pain develops a transformed identity, new insights, and is an active, in-control participant in care. Chronic pain is a common and costly problem, and recognition of the key attributes of self-organization in this condition is an important step in promoting positive health outcomes. Rehabilitation nurses play a key role in providing credible resources and working with the patient to take action and responsibility.