NIH funds $ 11.8 million research center at Yale into opioid use disorders, opioid abuse, and chronic pain



Many patients with opioid use disorders or opioid abuse suffer from chronic pain. Despite this, little research has focused specifically on the overlap between these conditions. A team of researchers bridging the gap between the Yale Program in Addiction Medicine, the Yale Department of Psychiatry and the Yale School of Public Health recently received an $ 11.8 million grant through the NIH Helping End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) Initiative. The grant support the creation of a research center to advance integrated treatments for chronic pain and opioid use or opioid abuse disorders. Yale was one of four such centers in the United States funded by the NIH as part of this initiative designed to form a larger Integrative Chronic Pain and OUD Management Network for Full Recovery (IMPOWR).

William Becker, MD, Declan Barry, PhD, and David Fiellin, MD, are the Principal Investigators (PIs) of this grant, which will launch the Integrative Management of Chronic Pain and Opioid Use Disorders for Full Recovery – Yale and Organizations United Research Center (IMPOWR-YOU). The Center will be overseen by a steering committee comprising PIs and several other Yale researchers, including Anne Black, Ph.D.; Sarwat Chaudhry, MD; Theddeus Iheanacho, MBBS, DTM & H; Robert Kerns, Ph.D.; Ryan McNeil, Ph.D.; Rajita Sinha, Ph.D.; and, Melissa Weimer, DO, MCR. Five hubs, or working groups involving key institutional and community partners, will focus on operations, engagement of stakeholders and people with lived experience (PWLE), career development and diversity, pilot projects, as well as data and measurement. Other collaborators include researchers from the APT Foundation, Howard University, University of Puerto Rico, University of Arkansas, University of Connecticut, University of Colorado and other colleagues at the Yale School of Medicine.

The new Center will carry out two major studies in parallel with the planned pilot projects and other activities of the Center. The first study, led by Becker, will compare the effectiveness of a collaborative pharmacist-led model of care for patients who have received long-term opioids and who have an opioid use disorder or opioid use disorder. ” opioid abuse and chronic pain in relation to the pharmacist program and referral of the patient to a telephone service. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) -based Pain Self-Management Program. The second study, led by Barry, will be part of an opioid treatment program and will compare, in patients receiving methadone or buprenorphine, the effectiveness of interdisciplinary multimodal management of chronic pain in stages comprising CBT, exercise and stress management.

The career development of early-career researchers and those who are under-represented in medicine, as well as the engagement of PWLEs, are among the top priorities of IMPOWR centers. The Career Development and Diversity core will focus on involving early stage researchers, fellows and associated postdoctoral associates, especially those from under-represented groups, in the Centre’s research and education initiatives. . Stakeholders and the PWLE core will lead efforts to ensure that all aspects of research design, conduct and dissemination are informed by stakeholders and PWLE. A subcommittee made up of the PWLEs on Opioid Use Disorders or Opioid Abuse and Chronic Pain, as well as their caregivers, will be formed. The subcommittee will advise on research priorities and ethical considerations in conducting research with people suffering from chronic pain, opioid use disorders or opioid abuse and co-morbidities, including URGs, and will inform every step of the research process, from design to sampling, recruitment, implementation, analysis and dissemination.

Regarding the potential impact of the IMPOWR-YOU center, Becker said, “This center will allow the Yale School of Medicine to capitalize on two of its strengths across all departments, the treatment of opioid use disorders. and chronic pain, using both drugs and behavioral treatments. The IMPOWR-YOU Center will help Yale expand this groundbreaking research and bring together a multidisciplinary group of experts, people with lived experience and key stakeholders.

Other Yale researchers include Mark Beitel, Ph.D.; Christopher Cutter, PhD; James Dziura, MPH, PhD; Sara Edmond, Ph.D.; Denise Esserman, PhD; Kirsha Gordon, PhD, MS; Alexandra Hajduk, PhD, MPH; Alicia Heapy, PhD; and, Brent Moore, PhD.


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