To combat ever-increasing rates of obesity in the U.S. and to reduce suffering from the pain that can occur with increased weight, the Health Behavior Research Lab (HBR) at University of the Sciences is offering free treatment for individuals struggling with both weight and chronic pain. Under the direction of Dr. E. Amy Janke, assistant professor of psychology at USciences, the HBR Lab seeks to understand the relationship between obesity and chronic pain and develop new treatments to address these common conditions.
Officially titled the "Integrated Behavioral Treatment for Co-Morbid Obesity and Chronic Pain" and the only one of its kind in Philadelphia, the study is aimed at adults with obesity and chronic pain. Individuals aged 18 or older who are obese and experience pain on a regular basis are eligible for treatment.
"We know that obesity often occurs with other medical conditions, and pain is commonly reported by individuals who are overweight or obese," said Dr. Janke. "Research has shown that self-management approaches to weight loss and pain management work to help individuals lose weight and experience less pain. What we don't know is which approach works best for individuals who have both obesity and chronic pain. In our current study, a therapist will meet individually with each client to provide the 'gold standard' of care in either weight loss, pain management, or an integrated treatment approach that addresses both weight and pain simultaneously."
In addition to being a training site for advanced master's and doctoral students in clinical psychology, the HBR Lab has a number of grant-funded studies examining obesity and pain when they occur, both separately and in conjunction. These studies can range from simple pen and paper questionnaires to lab-based tasks examining why certain people may be more prone to obesity and pain than others to the provision of individual or group-based treatment.
Health Behavior Research Lab at University of the Sciences