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Mena-Hurtado and Smolderen Awarded NIH Grant to Develop Integrated Pain Management Strategies for Peripheral Artery Disease

September 21, 2022
by Elisabeth Reitman

The project will document gaps in the pain management of critical limb ischemia, an advanced stage of peripheral artery disease.

Kim G. Smolderen, PhD, associate professor of medicine and clinical psychologist has received a R21 National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) grant to develop multimodal pain management strategies for individuals with advanced peripheral artery disease (PAD) with Carlos Mena-Hurtado, MD, associate professor of medicine, and interventional cardiologist. Together, Smolderen and Mena-Hurtado lead the Vascular Medicine Outcomes Program at Yale.

Critical limb ischemia (CLI) affects over 2 million U.S. adults and can result in chronic pain, which may lead to high opioid use. The aim of the project, “Pain Management Strategies, Associated Psychological Variables, and Outcomes in Critical Limb Ischemia,” is to examine patterns of pain medication utilization in CLI and PAD and its association with an increased risk of hospital readmission, limb amputation, mortality, and mental health disorders in patients. The project will document gaps in the pain management of CLI, and will start building conceptual models on how pain interacts with treatments and outcomes for CLI, with the larger overarching goal of this program to result in a multi-modal pain management program for CLI.

The R21 NIH Award goes into effect on September 19, 2022. Collaborators on this project include international authorities in the field of psychology and pain research, including Johan Vlaeyen, PhD (Leuven University, Belgium, who established the “fear avoidance model of pain”) and Madelon Peters, PhD (Maastricht University, the Netherlands, an expert in chronic pain in surgical populations) and with the Vascular Implant Surveillance and Interventional Outcomes Network (VISION), which is a Coordinated Registry Network (CRN) a member of Medical Device Epidemiology Network, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-supported global public-private partnership directed towards the study of real-world data to improve patient outcomes.

The grant discussed in this article was awarded by the National Institutes of Health through the NIH HEAL Initiative under Award Number 1R21AT012430-01.

Submitted by Elisabeth Reitman on September 21, 2022