Published by Star Tribune

A researcher for the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs hospital has been awarded a $12.5 million grant to compare approaches to pain management.

The study comes as the VA struggles for answers about how to deal with veterans with chronic pain. It also comes as the VA begins an era where it is greatly restricting the use of traditional painkilling medications called opioids.

Dr. Erin Krebs, an investigator with the VA’s Center for Chronic Disease Outcomes Research and an associate professor at the University of Minnesota, will conduct the study, which will begin in early 2017.

The project will enroll 1,400 participants at nine VA sites to compare two approaches to pain management that differ in resource intensity.

It will test which of the pain-treatment strategies is better for managing pain and helping patients reduce opioid use.

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