Chronic Pain and Substance Use in Patients with Hepatitis C

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The goal of this Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23) is for Benjamin Morasco, Ph.D. to become an independent scientist studying innovative approaches for the assessment and treatment of chronic pain and comorbid substance use disorder (SLID) in patients with hepatitis C. The candidate proposes a program of research and training with the following goals: further his understanding of pain, addiction, and SLID; expand his knowledge regarding strategies to address the non-pharmacological treatment of pain and SLID; develop expertise in the psychosocial needs of patients with the hepatitis C virus (HCV); and acquire advanced research skills that will prepare him for a career as an independent investigator. Dr. Morasco will work closely with his mentors, Drs. Peter Mauser, Dennis Turk, Alan Marlatt, and Steven Dobscha throughout the course of this award to meet the above objectives. The resources at the Oregon Health & Science University and Portland VA Medical Center, combined with the expert guidance of the mentoring team, will provide the ideal opportunity for Dr. Morasco to develop expertise in the assessment and treatment of comorbid pain and SLID. As part of this K23 award, Dr. Morasco will (1) conduct a cross-sectional study examining the biopsychosocial factors that are associated with chronic pain in patients with HCV, and (2) develop and pilot test a group-based cognitive-behavioral treatment to reduce pain, improve physical and emotional functioning, and reduce substance use in patients with HCV. Results from these studies will be used to apply for R01 funding to test the newly developed intervention in a randomized controlled trial. The long-term goal of this research is to develop a better understanding of the treatment needs of HCV patients, and ultimately improve the treatment of pain and comorbid substance use in this patient population. Successful completion of the proposed studies will prepare Dr. Morasco to become an independent investigator with expertise conducting clinical research in the combined treatment of pain and SLID, particularly in patients with HCV. Relevance to Public Health: We expect that this project will contribute needed information about the factors that contribute to pain in patients with hepatitis C. If the newly developed treatment is effective, the health-related quality of life among hepatitis C patients will be improved.
Effective start/end date7/15/081/30/14


  • National Institutes of Health: $165,533.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $166,684.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $167,605.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $162,551.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $166,684.00


  • Medicine(all)


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