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The primary goal of my research is to promote the health and well being of children and adolescents with chronic pain and their families. In line with this goal, research projects focus on biological, neurological, cognitive, affective, and social risk and resiliency factors of the pain experience. Projects include brain imaging, longitudinal clinical cohort, and treatment interventions studies.Some current research orojects include: Learning and Memory in Pediatric Chronic Pain Funding: NIH/NICHD R01Description: Investigating the mechanisms underlying fear learning, extinction and disruption of fear reconsolidation in adolescents with chronic pain and health controls using behavioral and neuroimaging measures. Multi-site study with Boston Children's Hospital (Collaborator: David Borsook, MD). Children Pain Behaviors in Context: A functional-cognitive perspective Leading Site: University of Ghent (Collaborator: Liesbet Goubert, PhD) Description: Identifying key antecedents and consequences that give rise to and maintain children's pain-related behaviors and investigate impact these antecedents on children's behavior and functioning through daily surveys and activity monitoring.
Pain Rehabilitation Virtual Reality (PRVR): Innovations to Enhance Mobility in the Presence of Pain
The proposed research is a two-group randomized controlled trial (RCT) of pain rehabilitation
virtual reality (PRVR) aimed at measuring changes in physical function and fear for
adolescents with chronic musculoskeletal pain when compared to Standard Physiotherapy
Rehabilitation (SPR). Both groups include standard physiotherapy treatment including
functional goal setting and progressive exercise with half of the treatment session delivered
virtually in the PRVR arm. The RCT aims are as follows:
- To evaluate physical function outcomes between PRVR and SPR.
- To evaluate pain-related fear as a potential mechanism of change in physical function.
- To characterize feasibility of a future hybrid effectiveness-dissemination trial of PRVR
in routine physiotherapy practice.
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SPRINT: Signature for Pain Recovery IN Teens
To identify biological and phenotypic prognostic markers of recovery vs. persistence of pain
and functional disability in adolescents with chronic musculoskeletal pain.
GET Living: Graded Exposure Treatment for Children and Adolescents With Chronic Pain
The broad aim of this study is to implement and evaluate the efficacy of Graded Exposure
Treatment (GET Living) to target elevated pain-related fears in children with chronic pain at
the Stanford Pediatric Pain Management Clinic (PPMC). The investigators will evaluate the
effectiveness and acceptability of this intervention for children with high levels of
pain-related fear and functional disability. If proven efficacious, it will allow for the
dissemination of this innovative treatment model to others working with children and
adolescents with chronic pain.