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Recently Awarded Research Grants

Project Title:

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Chronic Pain: A Telehealth Applicaiton Feasibility Study

Project Principal Investigator/s:
Dr. Kevin Vowles

Funding Agency:
2Morrow, Inc.

Amount Awarded:
15,959

Period of Performance:
11/2017 - 05/2018

Goals and Aims of Study

Chronic pain is common in adults, impacting approximately one in every four adults in the developed world. Despite the documented efficacy, behavioral pain treatment options are not accessible for many individuals, whether due to long clinic wait-lists, geographic availability, provider insurance coverage, time constraints, or presentation of sub-clinical levels of severity of psychosocial symptoms. Telehealth and smartphone application interventions are becoming increasingly available for treatment of a myriad of conditions as a means of increasing access to care and promoting self-management of health care. A review of available smartphone applications for chronic pain management included over two hundred relevant apps, primarily focused on pain education and pain self-management. A lack of inclusion of evidence-based pain management strategies was noted in the review. Development and evaluation of a chronic pain app would offer patients with chronic pain increased accessibility to an evidence-based treatment option for increasing functioning and improving quality of life.

This study is a pilot feasibility trial to examine the acceptability, usability, and technical performance of an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) based telehealth application (“app”) for those with chronic pain.  ACT for chronic pain is a treatment approach with “strong” empirical support according to the Division of Clinical Psychology of the American Psychological Association. The primary goal of ACT in the context of chronic pain treatment is to increase the patient’s engagement in valued and important activities while experiencing pain or discomfort, such that effective action is not dependent on pain intensity. Relatedly, ACT also aims to facilitate more effective responding to difficult or aversive experiences (e.g. persistent pain). ACT has been shown to reliably and significantly reduce pain-related distress, disability, and healthcare usage. 

How this Research Will Benefit Society

Project Title:

Predicting Stimulant Use Relapse using Neuroimaging Techniques

Project Principal Investigator/s:
Michael Maurer

Funding Agency:
National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Drug Abuse

Amount Awarded:
31, 156

Period of Performance:
09/2017 - 08/2019

Goals and Aims of Study

Using the world’s largest forensic database, which includes clinical and neuropsychological measures, electrophysiological measures, functional neuroimaging, and functional network connectivity measures, the primary goal of this project will be to delineate specific risk factors predictive of eventual stimulant use relapse propensity. This will be accomplished by integrating models incorporating logistic and Cox proportional-hazard regressions, and cross-validation machine learning pattern classifiers to predict stimulant use relapse one year after institutional release with an at-risk sample of adult incarcerated offenders.

How this Research Will Benefit Society

Project Title:

Relationship Dynamics: Endocrinology and Behavior

Project Principal Investigator/s:
Dr. Steven Gangestad

Funding Agency:
National Science Foundation

Amount Awarded:
$300,000

Period of Performance:
09/2017 - 08/2019

Goals and Aims of Study

This study is designed to examine how hormonal variations that occur between and within women are associated with the dynamics of their romantic relationships: their thoughts about their relationships, their behavior toward their partners, and their perceptions of how their partners behave toward them. 260 women in heterosexual romantic relationships will be recruited. The study will assay levels in saliva and urine pertaining to five hormones of interest: testosterone, cortisol, estradiol, progesterone, and oxytocin.

How this Research Will Benefit Society

 

Project Title:

Agora Crisis Line FY17

Project Principal Investigator/s:
Molly McCoy Brack

Funding Agency:
New Mexico Department of Health

Amount Awarded:
$30,000

Period of Performance:
07/2016 - 06/2017

Goals and Aims of Study

Agora is proud to recieve NM DOH funding for the 11 th year in a row. This contract helps increase our capacity to help youth throughout the state of NM who may be at risk of suicide and connects them to resources in their communities.

How this Research Will Benefit Society

Since 1970, Agora has provided UNM and the surrounding community by offering free, compassionate, confidential help to anyone in need of emotional support.