Frank Buono, PhD, Associate Research Scientist in Psychiatry, has been awarded a three-year grant to evaluate whether a mobile phone application can reduce pain in adults with Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1).
NF1 is an autosomal dominant genetic condition that affects one in approximately 2,500 people. Over 50 percent of people with NF1 report significant pain and discomfort, and 15 percent use pharmacological interventions. Sixty percent have had at least one surgical procedure in the last year to treat persistent pain.
Buono will collaborate with other researchers to determine whether a mobile phone application called iCanCope can reduce pain severity and pain interference in adults with NF1 by customizing currently utilized cognitive behavior therapy and mind-body alternative approaches. The mobile phone application will attempt to facilitate new skills for people with NF1 in managing their pain.
The $503,000 grant was awarded by the Congressional Directed Medical Research Program that allocated money from the U.S. Department of Defense. Evaluation of the mobile phone application will take three years and will include focus groups, beta testing, and a pilot randomized control trial.
Buono is collaborating with colleagues from Yale, in the Departments of Psychiatry and Public Health, and with researchers from University of Connecticut and University of Toronto.