I have aligned my research, teaching, leadership, and service activities towards the ambitious goal to relieve the suffering among patients with chronic pain and to find better ways to manage chronic pain in primary care.
Research Scientist, William M. Tierney Center for Health Services Research, Regenstrief Institute
Director, VA HSR&D Center for Health Information and Communication
Professor of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine
Since 2004, Dr. Bair has been a core investigator at the VA HSR&D Center for Health Information and Communication and Regenstrief Institute. He has served on several national VA committees related to improving pain management. These include the National VA Pain Research Working Group and the VA National Pain Management Strategic Coordinating Committee. Outside the VA, he has served on the American Pain Society Clinical Practice Guidelines Committee. Dr. Bair’s long-term research objective is to develop and test interventions that combine pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments that address some of the barriers to effective pain management that can be practicably applied in primary care.
Dr. Bair’s principal research focus has been on chronic pain management in the primary care setting. His research has also focused on chronic pain and psychological comorbidity (depression, anxiety, PTSD, sleep problems) and finding ways to better manage this comorbidity. He has a strong background in conducting clinical trials; developing and testing interventions that combine pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments such as pain self-management, yoga, massage, peer support, cognitive behavioral therapy, and exercise. Most recently, he is co-leading a large multi-site comparative effectiveness trial of five non-pharmacological treatments (web-based self-management, physical therapy, yoga, cognitive behavioral therapy, and spinal manipulation therapy) for veterans with chronic low back pain.
Sequential and Comparative Evaluation of Pain Treatment Effectiveness Response: The SCEPTER Trial
(VA CSP) (2019-2025)
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
This is a 20-VA site, randomized, pragmatic, 2-step comparative effectiveness study trial to identify the optimal approach to chronic low back pain treatment employing commonly recommended non-surgical, non-pharmacological options.
Trial Outcomes for Massage: Caregiver-Assisted vs. Therapist-Treated (TOMCATT) Study
(VA HSR&D) (2017-2021)
Role: Principal Investigator
The TOMCATT Study will target 468 Veterans with chronic neck pain and will compare caregiver-assisted massage and therapist-treated massage with a control arm.
Communication and Activation in Pain to Enhance Relationships and Treat Pain with Equity (COOPERATE)
(VA HSR&D, PI: Matthias) (2017-2021)
This randomized controlled trial designed is to improve patient engagement and communication with providers for African-American Veterans with chronic pain.
Feasibility and Acceptability of Music Imagery, and Listening Interventions for Analgesia (FAMILIA)
(National Endowment for the Arts) (2021-2023)
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
The overall objective of this study is to examine feasibility and acceptability of two music therapy interventions, trial design, and theoretical model before conducting a fully powered efficacy or comparative effectiveness trial.