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Faculty - Barbara Rakel

Barbara Rakel
318 CNB

PhD, University of Iowa College of Nursing
MA, University of Iowa College of Nursing
BSN, University of Iowa College of Nursing

Research Focus/Clinical Interests: 
  • Pain management in older adults
  • Hyperalgesia
  • Nonpharmacologic pain interventions
  • Acute care
  • Evidence-based practice

Barbara Rakel joined the University of Iowa College of Nursing in 2005 after serving as a Research Nurse Specialist and Advanced Practice Nurse at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) for more than 15 years, during which time she promoted research and evidence-based practice within and outside the Department of Nursing.

Dr. Rakel's program of research focuses on pain management in older adults, examining non-pharmacologic strategies to address movement-evoked pain and promote function in elders. She was a John A. Hartford Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity Postdoctoral Fellow from 2003-2005. In 2007, she received two R-series grants from the National Institute of Nursing Research to test the effect of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) on pain, hyperalgesia, and function in older adults with osteoarthritis and post total knee replacement. She was the recipient of the Harriet H. Werley New Investigator Award from the Midwest Nursing Research Society in 2008. Dr. Rakel collaborates with the Department of Rehabilitation Science, where she holds a secondary appointment, and the Department of Orthopedics in the Carver College of Medicine. Recently her research has focused on predictors of persistent postoperative pain following total knee arthroplasty.

Dr. Rakel's primary area of nursing practice has been in the acute care setting, including cardiothoracic and vascular surgery. She was UIHC's first Cardiothoracic Transplant Coordinator when the program began in 1984.