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The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) presents:
Caring for our Military: Consider Nondrug Therapies for Pain
There has been a recent trend toward a culture of pain awareness within the U.S. military that includes expanded use of nondrug treatments and a full continuum of best-practice pain services. These changes are aligned with the report of the Pain Management Task Force convened in 2009 by the U.S. Army Surgeon General, which provided more than 100 recommendations on a holistic, multidisciplinary, and multimodal strategy to manage pain.
Mary Jo Larson, Ph.D., M.P.A., will provide an overview on pain treatment, including recent innovations, in the U.S. Military Health System. Dr. Larson will also discuss her research study funded by NCCIH on the characteristics and clinical needs of U.S. Army soldiers returning from deployments, the types of treatments (drug and nondrug) they receive, and the associated outcomes.
During this lecture Dr. Larson will:
1. Identify at least three recent innovations in the Military Health System to improve the care of patients with pain.
2. Describe the evolution from 2009 to 2014 of health care utilization among soldiers treated for pain.
3. Describe several results of studies on integrative care modalities in relation to outcomes relevant to the military.
Dr. Larson is a senior scientist at the Heller school for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. She has devoted her career to research on improving health care systems. She holds a Ph.D. with a concentration in mental health services research from the Heller School for Advanced Studies in Social Welfare, Brandeis University, and an M.P.A. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Her recent research involves studying systems that provide care for military members affected by behavioral health conditions or chronic pain, and their families. Her goal is to develop and evaluate interventions to improve access to effective care (e.g., by educating health care providers in the use of evidence-based treatment and to evaluate care costs and utilization under different service delivery models).
The funders of Dr. Larson’s research have included NCCIH, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the U.S. Department of Defense. Her projects have included studies of military spouses and children, including health changes associated with a military member’s deployment, and development of a large, longitudinal database on the clinical/health services needs of U.S. soldiers who have returned from combat deployment. Dr. Larson served as a member of two committees of the National Academy of Medicine, which authored “Substance Use Disorders in the U.S. Armed Forces” and “Preventing Psychological Disorders in Service Members and Their Families: An Assessment of Programs.”