Lindsay Lancaster Benes

Lindsay Lancaster BenesAssistant Professor of Nursing

“The majority of my clinical and research specialization focuses on various aspects of chronic pain: understanding the development, presentation, and treatment of complex chronic pain syndromes.

Chronic pain affects at least 116 million American adults and disproportionally impacts vulnerable populations. These individuals are often stigmatized since the nervous system abnormalities underlying the painful condition are rarely visible externally. To better serve these patients I have focused on work to better understand the internal processes driving the pain, factors that perpetuate the cycle, and treatment modalities that address the complex interplay of physiologic, cognitive, and behavioral mechanisms.

I am working with a research team from Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research led by Dr. Lynn DeBar, who was one of seven investigators to receive funding for the National Institutes of Health’s first pragmatic trials, on which I serve as a co-investigator. Pragmatic trials test interventions that are more likely to be implemented in the real world, and results are more generalizable to a broader population. Our project aims to activate patients’ use of psychosocial and physical coping strategies to decrease pain, improve functioning, and decrease opioid use along with providing integrative, interdisciplinary resources and support to primary care providers.

My clinical and scientific work in the field of chronic pain has taught me both compassion and a style of thinking that strives to understand the depths of the processes around us; whether physiologic, scientific, or behavioral in nature. Working with our undergraduate and graduate students, I hope to instill this curiosity, this depth of thinking, and the tools necessary to solve complex problems. I enjoy working one-on-one with students or in small groups so that I can truly understand their unique styles of thinking, and as a result, frame our dialogue to best connect with their individual needs and learning goals.”

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