Pain Research


U-M team receives $12.6 million for comparative effectiveness studies of chronic back pain interventions

An interdisciplinary team of U-M researchers from the Michigan Medicine Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center and other departments, led by co-principal investigators Daniel Clauw of the departments of Anesthesiology, Internal Medicine and Psychiatry and Afton Hassett of the Department of Anesthesiology, have received a U19 grant of more than $12.6 million to fund the University of Michigan Mechanistic Research Center, as part of the broader Back Pain Consortium Research Program (BACKPAC). The center will take patients with chronic low back pain and use a patient-centric, SMART design study to follow these individuals longitudinally as they try several different evidence-based therapies while mechanistic studies are overlaid to draw crucial inferences about what treatments will work in what patient endotypes. About 80% of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lives, while low-back pain being the most common cause of job-related disability.

Afton Hassett, PsyD

“We are looking for solutions outside of opioids,” Hassett said. “These funds are a dream come true because they give us the opportunity to, in a really objective manner, look at the most commonly recommended interventions for patients and truly understand who they work for and how they are working.”

The U-M Center will share data from their patient populations with other members of the consortium, using advanced data mining techniques to develop more personalized interventions for chronic pain.