News
October 31, 2023

NEA award supports study of music therapy to improve chronic pain

Matt Bair, MD

Regenstrief Institute research scientist Matthew J. Bair, M.D., M.S., and the Indiana Institute of Medical Research (IIMR) at Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center have been awarded the Creative Forces®: National Endowment for the Arts Military Healing Arts Network Award for Clinical Study of Music Therapy and Chronic Pain in U.S. Veterans.

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

Dr. Bair is director of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development Center for Health Information and Communication (CHIC). He is also a professor of medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics at the IU School of Medicine.

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), in partnership with Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine (HJF), Inc., announced that the clinical research award of $900,000 will be awarded to the IIMR, which is collaborating with the VA as part of the Creative Forces®: NEA Military Healing Arts Network. Dr. Bair, a health services researcher and internist, and Kristin Maya Story, PhD, a music therapist and CHIC core investigator, are the co-principal investigators.

Creative Forces is an initiative of the NEA in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs that seeks to improve the health, well-being and quality of life for military and veteran populations exposed to trauma, as well as their families and caregivers. HJF will manage the award to support a randomized controlled trial of music therapy for U.S. veterans with chronic pain.

Through Creative Forces, the NEA is investing in research exploring the physical, social and emotional impact and benefits of creative arts therapies.

Matthew J. Bair, M.D., M.S.
In addition to being a research scientist with Regenstrief Institute, Matthew J. Bair, M.D., M.S., is the director and principal investigator for the Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development Center for Health Information and Communication, Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center. He is a professor of medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine.  

About Regenstrief Institute
Founded in 1969 in Indianapolis, the Regenstrief Institute is a local, national and global leader dedicated to a world where better information empowers people to end disease and realize true health. A key research partner to Indiana University, Regenstrief and its research scientists are responsible for a growing number of major healthcare innovations and studies. Examples range from the development of global health information technology standards that enable the use and interoperability of electronic health records to improving patient-physician communications, to creating models of care that inform clinical practice and improve the lives of patients around the globe.

Sam Regenstrief, a nationally successful entrepreneur from Connersville, Indiana, founded the institute with the goal of making healthcare more efficient and accessible for everyone. His vision continues to guide the institute’s research mission.

About the Creative Forces Initiative 
Creative Forces®: NEA Military Healing Arts Network is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs that seeks to improve the health, well-being, and quality of life for military and veteran populations exposed to trauma, as well as their families and caregivers. Creative Forces is managed in partnership with Americans for the Arts, Civic Arts, the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, and Mid-America Arts Alliance. More information can be found at arts.gov/creativeforces and creativeforcesnrc.arts.gov or follow us on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn.

About the National Endowment for the Arts 
Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is an independent federal agency that is the largest funder of the arts and arts education in communities nationwide and a catalyst of public and private support for the arts. By advancing equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice, the NEA fosters and sustains an environment in which the arts benefit everyone in the United States. To learn more, visit arts.gov or follow us on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and YouTube.

Related News

Kathleen Unroe, M.D. and Gail Towsley, PhD

Improving dementia care in nursing homes: Learning from the pandemic years

No one associated with nursing homes – as residents or their families, friends, staff or administrators – is unaware

Shaun Grannis and Brian Dixon

COVID-19 vaccination as effective for adults with common mental disorders as for those without

Unvaccinated individuals with mental illness have higher rate of hospitalization INDIANAPOLIS – A large multi-state electronic health record-based study