Yale gets funds for veteran, military pain management research

Photo: Sgt. Jennifer Spradlin, U.S. Army / Contributed Via The National Institutes Of Health ( Amanda Cuda, CTPOST )

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs are launching a multi-component research project focusing on nondrug approaches for pain management addressing the needs of service members and veterans. Twelve research projects — including three at Yale University — totaling approximately $81 million over six years will focus on developing, implementing, and testing nondrug pain management.


“Finding solutions for chronic pain is of critical importance, especially for military personnel and veterans who are disproportionately affected,” said NIH Director Dr. Francis S. Collins in a news release. “Bringing the science to bear through these real-world research projects will accelerate our search for pain management strategies for all Americans, especially as we work to address the nation’s opioid crisis.”

Types of approaches being studied include mindfulness/meditative interventions, movement interventions (such as structured exercise, tai chi and yoga), manual therapies (such as spinal manipulation, massage and acupuncture), psychological and behavioral interventions, integrative approaches that involve more than one intervention, and integrated models of multi-modal care.

Studies report nearly 45 percent of soldiers and 50 percent of veterans experience pain on a regular basis, and there is significant overlap among chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder and persistent post-concussive symptoms.

Seven of the 12 projects have been awarded by HHS/NIH. The remaining five will be announced in the coming months. The awarded projects include the following three from Yale:

*Robert Kerns, Yale professor of psychiatry, neurology, and psychology will lead a team to establish the Pain Management Collaboratory Coordinating Center. This center will provide national leadership and serve as a national resource for development and refinement of innovative tools, best practices, and other resources in the conduct of high impact pragmatic clinical trials on nondrug approaches for pain management and other comorbid conditions in veteran and military health care systems.

*Alicia Heapy, Yale assistant professor of psychiatry will conduct a pragmatic trial to examine the real-world effectiveness of an interactive voice response-based form of cognitive behavioral therapy for chronic pain called Cooperative Pain Education and Self-management.

* Dr. Marc Rosen, Yale associate professor of psychiatry, will test the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment for pain management, designed to reduce pain and risky substance use.

Ki Monique
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Ki is an actress, tv personality, and reporter. She has many hobbies and talents. Her father is a retired military veteran.