Boston Medical Center Awarded More Than $870,000 to Study Three Co-Occurring Conditions

Contact: Kristen Perfetuo, 617-638-8491 |

(Boston) – Boston Medical Center (BMC) has recently been awarded more than $870,000 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study and develop treatments for patients with co-occurring substance abuse disorders (SUD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the primary care setting.

Led by Jane Liebschutz, general internist at BMC and assistant professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, researchers also will focus on chronic non-cancer pain, a condition both associated with SUD and PTSD.

“Each of these three conditions occur routinely in the primary care setting and each has been associated with the other two,” said Liebschutz. “Our goal is to determine the prevalence of these three co-occurring conditions, as well as develop behavioral therapies for patients suffering from SUD, PTSD and chronic non-cancer pain.”

According to Liebschutz, researchers will work closely with primary care physicians to discern the most useful intervention for patients diagnosed with all three conditions. The intervention will consist of a behavioral treatment administered by a mental health professional directly to the patient, as well as an educational intervention directed toward the patient’s primary care physician on appropriate use of narcotic medication.

“The goal of the intervention will be to decrease the misuse of substances, with an emphasis on prescription drug abuse; decrease PTSD symptoms and improve physical and mental health related to quality of life,” said Liebschutz.