Pain Management Effectiveness Research Network


The Research Need

Developing evidence-based information for patients and clinicians about which interventions are most effective is critical for better pain management. Research is needed to:

  • Identify the most effective interventions and management strategies for pain while reducing reliance on opioids.
  • Improve functional and health outcomes.
  • Reduce pain across the continuum of acute to chronic pain associated with disease and pain presenting as disease itself.

About the Program

The Pain Management Effectiveness Research Network, a multisite research cooperative program, aims to address these needs and improve pain care by evaluating the effectiveness of a broad range of therapies to guide clinical practice in real-world settings.

The network will leverage the infrastructure of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) Trial Innovation Network to support clinical trials that compare the effectiveness of existing non-addictive therapies or of existing or novel approaches for prevention and management of pain. Ultimately, the results will identify the most effective interventions and management strategies for pain while reducing reliance on opioids, improve functional outcomes, and reduce pain across the continuum of acute to chronic pain associated with disease and pain presenting as a disease.

This program is aligned with the high-priority recommendations of the Federal Pain Research Strategy and supports implementation of the recommendations of the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force.

Lynn DeBar, PhD, MPH, discusses collaborative care for opioid use disorder and mental health.

Research Spotlight

A smiling woman next to the words, “First, I’ll teach you how pain is affected by — and how it affects — your actions, feelings, and thoughts.”

Research Spotlight

Prescribing a Website for Chronic Pain

Researchers test whether a phone- or web-based program can help people cope with long-term pain.

Read the Spotlight

Research Spotlight

Image of two women seating, one a doctor with white coat and stethoscope and a the other holding a new born baby boy.

Research Spotlight

Personalizing Pain Management for Women

The NIH HEAL InitiativeSM is funding a new study that aims to address the problem of adequate pain management after cesarean delivery, the over prescribing of opioid and the high number of leftover opioid tablets.

Read the Spotlight

Program Details

Through the Helping to End Addiction Long-termSM Initiative, or NIH HEAL InitiativeSM, NIH awarded grants to four institutions for clinical trials and supplemental awards to six institutions to support clinical trials and clinical trial infrastructure. The awards are supported by multiple NIH Institutes and Centers and total approximately $103.3 million. The NCATS Trial Innovation Network will provide various services, such as study design support, recruitment and retention assistance, community and participant engagement, and the trial data management system.

Research Examples

The Pain Management Effectiveness Research Network will establish novel treatment options for a variety of pain conditions to improve quality of life and reduce opioid dependency.

Highlights of research that the Network supports include:

  • Evaluating the effectiveness of nonpharmacological treatments for pain, including behavioral interventions delivered by trained providers and through telehealth programs and self-management programs
  • Studying a broad range of pain conditions, including chronic overlapping pain conditions, chronic cancer pain, chronic musculoskeletal pain, perioperative pain, post-Cesarean delivery pain, and knee osteoarthritis
  • Reaching understudied populations, including older adults, adolescents, veterans, people in rural areas, and postpartum women
  • Combining cognitive behavioral and pharmacological treatments to improve patient outcomes of pain relief and function

Pain Management Effectiveness Research Network Awards to Support Clinical Trials

  • Johns Hopkins University – Maryland
  • Kaiser Foundation Research Institute – California
  • Seattle Children’s Hospital – Washington
  • University of New Mexico – New Mexico

Pain Management Effective Research Network Supplemental Awards to Support Clinical Trials

  • George Washington University – District of Columbia
  • Wake Forest NCORP Research Base – North Carolina

NCATS Trial Innovation Network Supplemental Awards to Support Clinical Trial Infrastructure, Recruitment, and Community and Participant Engagement

  • Duke University – North Carolina
  • Johns Hopkins University – Maryland
  • University of Utah – Utah
  • Vanderbilt University – Tennessee

Funded Projects

A sequenced-strategy for improving outcomes in patients with knee osteoarthritis pain
Sep 25, 2019
Effectiveness of an mHealth psychosocial intervention to prevent transition from acute to chronic postsurgical pain in adolescents
Sep 25, 2019
Implementing and Evaluating mHealth Pain Coping Skills Training Interventions to Improve Self-Management of Chronic Pain in Cancer Survivors in “Real World” Clinical Practice Setting
Sep 25, 2019
Integrated Treatment for Veterans with Co-Occurring Chronic Pain and Opioid Use Disorder
Sep 25, 2019
TIN Supplement
Mar 19, 2020