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Hopkins Nursing Professor Receives Grant to Study Hypersensitivity

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Posted: 4/8/2009

Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON) professor Gayle Page, DNSc, RN, FAAN, has received a research project grant (R21) of $275,000 from the National Institute of Nursing Research to study susceptibility factors that contribute to the development of persistent mechanical hypersensitivity (PHM), focusing on sleep disruption and stress responsivity. PMH is an increased sensitivity to mechanical pressure that may last for days and is an indicator of pain sensitivity.

"An alarming 26 percent of Americans report pain persisting for more than one day in the previous month," Page says. "Of those 26 percent, 42 percent indicated their pain lasted more than a year." Page goes on to say that despite the enormous scope of chronic pain, there is minimal understanding of or research on the transition from acute pain conditions to persistent pain syndromes.
 
The significance of the proposed study relates to the pervasiveness of chronic pain, the high association of pain and sleep disruption, and the paucity of previous experimental work identifying susceptibility and resilience factors related to chronic pain development. "The successful conduct of this study will provide a platform upon which to build studies focusing on locomotion, mood, and early life pain experiences," Page said.

This project is an interdisciplinary team effort among investigators including Page and Sharon Kozachik in the School of Nursing and Jennifer Haythornthwaite and Michael Smith in the School of Medicine.