FORT SAM HOUSTON, TX. -- Dr. Shawn Farrokhi, PT, PhD, a member of Army Medicine's Extremity Trauma & Amputation Center of Excellence (EACE) Research and Surveillance Division was recently notified of the approval of a grant proposal by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-DoD-VA Pain Management Collaboratory entitled, "Resolving the Burden of Low Back Pain in Military Service Members and Veterans: A Multi-Site Pragmatic Clinical Trial." The grant proposal was recommended for funding by the DoD office of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP).

Mr. John Shero, Director of the EACE said, "This is absolutely wonderful news and I could not be happier that Dr. Farrokhi and the entire EACE team have received this opportunity and achieved this new benchmark in EACE sponsored research.

Shero added, "This study addresses a prevalent health problem for service members and veterans using a best practice model and outcomes relevant to patients, providers, and healthcare systems. We anticipate that the findings from this important research question will influence how DoD and VA lower back pain care is delivered, to enhance value-based healthcare."

The accepted proposal is a six-year, $6.1 million trial to evaluate an active clinical practice guideline implementation strategy utilizing an education/audit/feedback model, as compared to usual care for management of low back pain.

The study will include data from more than 4,600 service members and veterans with low back pain who are treated at three major DoD medical treatment facilities; Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, U.S. Naval Medical Center San Diego, and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda. Other locations include two major VA medical centers -- the James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital in Tampa and Audie L. Murphy Medical Center in San Antonio, along with the University of Pittsburgh. The study will also include a cohort of patients with lower back pain secondary to extremity amputation.

The primary outcomes from this study will include the change in low back pain intensity and disability after receiving physical therapy care. Secondary outcomes will consist of a twelve month change in medical resource utilization and prescription analgesics use after discharge from physical therapy.

Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP)

The CDMRP originated in 1992 via a Congressional appropriation to foster novel approaches to biomedical research in response to the expressed needs of its stakeholders-the American public, the military, and Congress.

The CDMRP fills research gaps by funding high impact, high risk and high gain projects that other agencies may not venture to fund. While individual programs are unique in their focus, all of the programs managed by the CDMRP share the common goal of advancing paradigm shifting research, solutions that will lead to cures or improvements in patient care, or breakthrough technologies and resources for clinical benefit. The CDMRP strives to transform healthcare for service members and the American public through innovative and impactful research.