Barbara Rakel, PhD, RN, FAAN

Professor, Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship
Rita and David Frantz Endowed Professorship in Nursing
Co-Director, Center for Advancing Multimorbidity Science

Dr. Barbara Rakel's program of research focuses on pain management, identifying patients at risk for chronic post-surgical pain, and examining non-pharmacologic strategies (primarily Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation [TENS] and Acceptance Commitment Therapy [ACT]) to reduce movement-evoked pain and promote function in patients with acute and chronic pain conditions. She is an expert in measurement and randomized clinical trial methodologies.

Dr. Rakel joined the University of Iowa College of Nursing in 2005 after serving as the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) Director of Quality Improvement, a Research Nurse Specialist and Advanced Practice Nurse in the Department of Nursing, and the Cardiothoracic Transplant Coordinator in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery for over15 years. During this time, she promoted research and evidence-based practice within and outside the Department of Nursing. Since joining the faculty, Dr. Rakel has focused on increasing evidence to inform practice. She received two R-series grants from the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) in 2007 and has been consistently funded through multiple NIH institutes (NINR, NCCIH, NIAMS) and other funding sources (CTSA, APS, Pfizer, ATPT, etc.) since then. Dr. Rakel is currently conducting a multi-site, randomized clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) versus attention control for the prevention of chronic pain and dysfunction following total knee arthroplasty (R01, NINR). She is also Co-Director of the Center for Advancing Multimorbidity Science (CAMS) and a member of the Clinical Coordinating Center for the Transition from Acute to Chronic Pain Study (NIH).

Curriculum Vitae

Research areas
  • Evaluating efficacy of non-pharmacologic pain management strategies
  • Movement-evoked pain versus resting pain
  • Risk factors and prevention of acute to chronic postsurgical pain
Barb Rakel
Postdoctoral Fellowship, The John A. Hartford Foundation’s Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity Scholar Award Program
PhD, University of Iowa College of Nursing
MA, University of Iowa College of Nursing
BSN, University of Iowa College of Nursing