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  • $12.5 Million PCORI Grant Will Fund Research on Team Approach to Pain Management

    A recently announced $21 million grants program includes a $12.5 million award for a project that will investigate the effectiveness of interdisciplinary teams that include a physical therapist (PT) in creating "integrative" pain management options to avoid reliance on opioids.

    The grants program, sponsored by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), will support research related to the management of chronic pain, with a goal of reducing opioid use. The largest award was provided to a University of Minnesota project that will evaluate 2 approaches in the treatment of veterans with chronic pain: one approach that pairs a pharmacist and supervising physician to determine a medication plan and create a telemedicine-based care program, and a second approach that establishes a team including a physician, psychologist, and PT to create a plan "that encourages integrative pain management options, such as exercise, in addition to medication," according to a PCORI news release.

    The second grant award, for $8.5 million, will go to a University of Wisconsin-based research team investigating the effectiveness of mindfulness meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy in the treatment and management of low back pain.

    This is not the first time PCORI has acknowledged the role of PTs in improving patient outcomes. Early in 2015, the group—an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010—announced nearly $28 million in support for 2 research projects led by PTs.

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