Adolescents at risk for chronic pain

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The K23 candidate is an assistant professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine at Oregon Health &Science University (OHSU). This award is expected to help transition the focus of the candidate's research and to provide additional training in risk for chronic pain in children and adolescents. The candidate's career goals are to develop an independent research career related to identification and prevention of chronic pain in at risk youth. Specific objectives of the career development and research training plan are to obtain the necessary training to evaluate individual and family predictors of pain and somatic symptoms among at-risk youth, and to use laboratory pain reactivity data to test hypotheses about risk and resilience factors related to the development of chronic pain in children over time. The candidate proposes a five-year training program with faculty mentors from a strong anesthesiology department. Her sponsor is a very experienced pediatric pain researcher whose work has focused on understanding and treating the functional consequences of chronic pain in children. Additional mentors are experts in laboratory pain methods, health promotion and prevention in at risk youth, and longitudinal studies with children. OHSU is an ideal institution for this award owing to the breadth of resources available (e.g., Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute training opportunities). In addition to intensive mentoring by nationally renowned patient-oriented researchers, the career development plan includes coursework and didactic training in chronic pain treatment, laboratory pain methodology, grant writing skills, and research ethics. Other activities in the plan include research training in statistical methods and supervised experience in preparation of grant proposals for independent research support. The candidate's proposed research involves three specific aims. The first aim is to examine individual and parental correlates of pain and somatic symptoms, physical functioning, and psychological functioning within two groups: 1) children of adult caregivers with chronic pain, and 2) children of healthy parents without chronic pain. The second aim is to follow this cohort of children over a one-year period in adolescence to identify risk and protective factors that predict pain and somatic symptoms longitudinally and examine the role of child sex. Parental, psychological, and health-related risk factors will be examined. The third aim is to compare parental responses during laboratory pain tasks in the two groups to better understand the influence of parent behaviors on children's pain experiences. This innovative study utilizes clinical and laboratory pain assessment techniques to provide new information about an at risk population, and will inform the development of preventive interventions. The combined skill set and experience gained from the candidate's career development and research plan will provide the necessary early career support for the candidate to establish a successful independent research career focused on prevention and treatment of chronic pain and related disability among youth at risk for chronic pain. Public Health Relevance: Family history of chronic pain increases the risk for the development of chronic pain in children and adolescents. This study will identify risk and protective factors associated with pain reactivity and somatic symptoms in children who are living with an adult caregiver with chronic pain. The long-term goal is to prevent the development of adult chronic pain and related disability.
Effective start/end date6/20/105/31/15


  • National Institutes of Health: $110,710.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $105,387.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $114,718.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $112,370.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $95,972.00


  • Medicine(all)


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