Researchers receive NEA award to test whether a two-step music therapy improves chronic pain

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Research scientists Matthew J. Baer, ​​MD, MS of the Riesenstrife Institute, and Richard L. of the Indiana Institute of Medical Research (IIMR). Creative Forces awarded to Roudebush VA Medical Center®: National Endowment for the Arts Military Healing Arts Network Award for Clinical Study of Music Therapy and Chronic Pain in US Veterans.

The research project, titled “Stepped-Care Intervention of Music and Imagery to Assess Relief (SCIMITAR) Trial,” will examine whether a two-step music therapy intervention improves pain, psychological symptoms (anxiety, PTSD, depression, and stress) and health-related quality of life. . Lives of veterans with chronic musculoskeletal pain. The study will assess opioid use among participants and provide a cost-benefit analysis of the Phase 1, music listening, and Phase 2, music imagery, interventions.

Dr. Baer is director of the US Department of Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development Center for Health Information and Communication (CHIC). He is also Professor of Medicine in the Department of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics at the IU School of Medicine.

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine (HJF), Inc. In partnership with, announced that a clinical research award of $900,000 will be awarded to IIMR, which is collaborating with the VA as part of the creative force.®: NEA Military Healing Arts Network. Dr. Baer, ​​a health services researcher and intern, and Christine Maya Storey, PhD, a music therapist and Chick Core investigator, are co-principal investigators.

Creative Forces is an initiative of NEA in partnership with the US Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs to improve the health, wellness and quality of life of trauma-affected military and veteran populations, as well as their families and caregivers. HJF will administer the award to support a randomized controlled trial of music therapy for US veterans with chronic pain.

Through Creative Force, NEA is investing in research exploring the physical, social and emotional effects and benefits of creative arts therapy.

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