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HSR&D Research on AI-Adjusted CBT for Chronic Pain Earns Kudos and Attention

July 12, 2023

John Piette, PhD, MPH

John Piette, PhD, MPH

A paper by John Piette, PhD, MPH, and colleagues on an HSR&D study that evaluated a novel approach to delivering cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for chronic pain was recently named a recipient of HSR&D’s 2022 Best Research Paper of the Year Award, and has, at last count, been viewed more than 4,000 times, downloaded 847 times, and tweeted in more than 10 countries. Dr. Robert Kerns, founding director of the Pain Research, Informatics, Multi-morbidities, and Education Center, heralded the publication as “the most important paper in the field of pain research in 2022.”

The paper, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, reports that AI-based CBT achieved pain outcomes equivalent to standard CBT in less than half the therapist time—suggesting that using AI to personalize therapy could dramatically increase the number of patients who can be treated by the same number of therapists. The approach could increase access to other behavioral interventions where Veterans go unserved because therapists are unavailable and treatment is intensive.

Dr. Piette is an HSR&D Research Career Scientist and is part of HSR&D’s Center for Clinical Management Research in Ann Arbor, MI.

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