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    What’s New in 2024

    By |2024-01-14T17:04:46-08:00January 14th, 2024|

    Greetings, I hope 2024 is off to a great start for you. Some exciting updates to share with you related to our mission to alleviate human suffering and reduce pain disparities. As you know, mainly we come at this through the angle of improving access to pain care. We also seek to integrate the patient voice, as well as their needs and wants into all projects and studies: ↠ What’s New: PROGRESS Study Updates: Our $11.2M [...]

    Empowered Relief: Updates and What’s New in 2023

    By |2022-12-30T11:40:28-08:00December 30th, 2022|

    Dear Friends, I hope this message finds you in good health and spirits. It’s been a while since I shared a message with you and that’s a reflection of being busy doing the work! As 2022 comes to a close, this update is focused on Empowered Relief. Status updates: Empowered Relief is being delivered in 22 countries and in 7 languages. Empowered Relief is being studied in nationally-funded research in the U.S., Canada, and Denmark. Three [...]

    Empowered Relief™ scientific updates and NYTimes coverage

    By |2021-12-15T11:38:43-08:00November 10th, 2021|

    As you subscribe to my website, you are aware that many people report difficulty accessing pain care. Major care barriers exist for psychological or behavioral medicine treatment for acute and chronic pain. One of the biggest developments in behavioral pain care has been creating new treatment formats and delivery systems that transcend care barriers so people can have easy access. To answer the call for effective and accessible pain treatments, in 2013 I developed Empowered ReliefTM [...]

    The Importance of Patient-Centeredness in Opioid Prescribing and Tapering: EMPOWER

    By |2021-06-17T09:29:45-07:00February 27th, 2021|

    A common perception about prescription opioids is that less is better. Health risks exist with prescription opioids. While true, for people taking daily prescription opioids long-term, reducing their opioid doses is equally fraught with health risks. Thus, in the rush to help patients take less medication we’ve seen some tragic consequences emerge including deaths. In the past few years, a burgeoning literature has described the risks associated with opioid dose changes, particularly rapid dose changes and [...]

    Home-Based Virtual Reality for Chronic Low Back Pain: Published Results for our Placebo-Controlled Randomized Controlled Trial

    By |2021-06-17T09:37:28-07:00February 24th, 2021|

    Many of you know I am the chief science advisor at AppliedVR, a digital therapeutics company. My role at AppliedVR aligns with my dual core missions of expanding access to effective pain care and reducing treatment burden for people who have pain. At AppliedVR, we target both missions by translating evidence-based behavioral medicine skills and principles into virtual reality (VR) treatment for chronic pain. We created an immersive, 3D experience that optimizes learning, experience, and chronic [...]

    Virtual Reality for Chronic Pain: Results report + new trial seeks participants

    By |2020-07-24T14:14:45-07:00July 24th, 2020|

    More than 100 million Americans experience ongoing pain. According to one Congressional report, "for every physician certified in pain care, there are more than 28,500 Americans living with chronic pain," suggesting that the U.S. has poor ability to meet demand for expert pain care. Similarly, colleagues and I previously reported that access to behavioral pain care in the U.S. remains poor for a variety of reasons, including few trained and available local therapists and insurance [...]

    COVID-19 Coping in Health Care Clinicians: Essential Resources

    By |2020-07-23T20:02:55-07:00March 28th, 2020|

    COVID-19 presents new challenges for everyone. However, health care clinicians are facing unique personal and professional challenges within the context of a rapidly shifting landscape. Such challenges may include: managing patient and personal health/safety risks for COVID-19 exposure adopting technology and shifting patient care to video visits managing physical distancing and de-contamination protocols for in-person clinic visits rapidly changing organizational protocols for patient care procedures diminished staff/colleague support due to quarantine and illness health/safety concern for [...]

    ‘First do no harm’: The Guardian Feature on Opioid Tapering

    By |2020-10-12T09:52:33-07:00February 16th, 2020|

    I was pleased to have my thoughts on opioid tapering featured in The Guardian feature story on “Life After Opioids” by author Celina Ribiero. I am here to help people understand how and why scientific evidence and patient-centered approaches are critical elements of compassionate and ethical pain care, and why ignoring either of these puts patients at risk for poor outcomes and even grave harms. And lastly, we must remember that being truly patient-centered means recognizing, [...]

    Empowered Relief: Meeting the Needs of a Nation in Pain

    By |2021-03-16T12:05:53-07:00January 29th, 2020|

    Just published my latest post in Psychology Today: "Empowered Relief: Meeting the Needs of a Nation in Pain." In this article I highlight the benefits of integrated pain care, and how brief and digital behavioral medicine treatments can empower patients, expand access to whole-person acute and chronic pain care. It’s an exciting time with much national focus on pain care. In 2016, the U.S. Health and Human Services published the National Pain Strategy [1] (NPS; co-chaired [...]

    Empowered Relief: Expanding Rapid Access to Low-Cost, Evidence-Based Pain Care

    By |2021-03-16T12:07:18-07:00July 3rd, 2019|

    Greetings All, As you know, poor access to comprehensive pain care remains a major problem worldwide. To help address this problem, at Stanford University, I developed a 2-hour skills-based pain treatment class that rapidly equips people to self-manage pain and symptoms. It’s called “Empowered Relief™”. Empowered Relief™ is unique and transformative pain treatment because it: Requires only ONE in-person, 2-hour class Is skills-based and evidence-based 100 people can be treated in a single class (you are only [...]

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