Future Leaders in Pain Research
2007 Grant Recipient: Anna C. (Long) Wilson, PhD
Oregon Health & Science University
Web-based cognitive behavioral therapy for adolescents with chronic pain: Measuring functional outcomes
Please state which institution you are currently conducting research.
Oregon Health & Science University; Department of Pediatrics/Child Development and Rehabilitation Center
How did receiving the Future Leaders in Pain Research Grant impact your career in pain research?
I received the Future Leaders grant during a critical period of professional development. The award allowed me to pursue an area of interest: looking at functional outcomes and physical activity in adolescents with chronic pain. Gaining experience in this area was crucial for me in terms of setting the groundwork for me being able to effectively conduct research in the field of chronic pain. I developed a much stronger understand of the impact of chronic pain on day-to-day functioning and health through this award.
What is your current research focus? Briefly describe the importance of this work and how it advances the APS goals, mission, and your own personal development.
I currently hold a K23 career development award from the NIH/NICHD, which focuses on familial history risk for chronic pain in adolescents. We know that chronic pain runs in families, and that some children of adults who have chronic pain will go on to experience pain themselves. This study aims to better describe familial risk, in terms of laboratory pain responses, pain coping, and neurobiological features that might place certain teens at higher risk of developing pain themselves. In the long-term, I hope that this will lead to prevention programs that can stop chronic pain before it negatively impacts the lives of teenagers and young adults. The prevention of chronic pain and the related negative impact that it has on young people is certainly in line with the American Pain Society’s goals, but is also important from a scientific perspective for clinical pain research, as successful pain prevention in childhood and adolescence can reduce the negative impact of pain across the lifespan.