Future Leaders in Pain Research
2012 Grant Recipient: Adam T. Hirsh, PhD
Indiana University Purdue University
The Influence of Patient Race, Provider Bias, and Contextual Ambiguity on Opioid Treatment Decisions
Please state which institution you are currently conducting research.
Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
How did receiving the Future Leaders in Pain Research Grant impact your career in pain research?
The Future Leaders in Pain Research Grant funded a study examining how patient race, provider racial bias, and clinical ambiguity independently and interactively influence providers' pain treatment decisions. I presented the results of this study at the 2014 APS conference in Tampa, FL, and we are currently preparing a manuscript that will be submitted for publication. In addition, this study contributed pilot data for an R01 proposal that was recently funded. As Principal Investigator of this R01 and an early career scientist, it was critical that I establish my ability to direct a program of research that is significant and productive. APS funding assisted me in doing so.
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.
My lab investigates the psychosocial factors that influence how people experience pain and how they are assessed and treated by others. In one current line of research, we use virtual human technology and mixed methodologies to examine how patient variables, provider variables, and contextual variables influence pain judgments. In this work, we are particularly interested in examining the mechanisms that underlie variability in pain care. Answers to these "Why?" questions will allow us to develop more effective strategies to improve care. Our recently funded R01 is based on this work and will test a novel, virtual perspective-taking intervention to reduce racial and socioeconomic disparities in pain treatment. This research is consistent with the APS goal of supporting high quality pain research and its mission to increase knowledge of pain and reduce pain-related suffering.
Are you still an APS member? If yes, do you feel that it has been of value to your professional development?
Yes. I joined APS in graduate school and have been a member ever since. Membership has allowed me to develop meaningful personal and professional relationships over the years. It has also provided me the opportunity to share my work through conference presentations and print/online publications. Parallel to my transition from graduate student to faculty member, I have assumed greater leadership roles in the society over time. My professional development has benefitted from my service on the editorial board of The Journal of Pain, as well as my roles as Co-Chair of the Psychosocial Research SIG and Member-at-Large of the Pain and Disparities SIG. Finally, and on a very practical level, APS directly contributed to my development through Young Investigator Travel awards and a Future Leaders in Pain Research grant.