Newswise — On Monday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced new guidelines for appropriate tapering or discontinuation of long-term opioid use. The new guidelines are a shift from previous recommendations created to combat the overprescribing of opioids in the U.S. but which caused some chronic pain patients to rapidly taper or discontinue the drugs altogether.

Indiana University experts are available to comment on the guidelines and implications of such guidelines on patients.  For more information, contact April Toler at 812-855-3851 or [email protected]

Matthew Bair

Matthew Bair, associate professor of medicine at the IU School of medicine, is a Core Investigator for the VA Health Services Research and Development Center for Health Information and Communication, an attending physician in the Inpatient Medicine Service at Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center, and Regenstrief Research Scientist.

Bair’s research is focused on affective disorders (depression and anxiety), chronic pain and developing strategies to improve pain management in the primary care setting. His long-term goal is to develop and test pain management therapies that combine pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatments.

He has conducted a randomized controlled trial to compare a combination of pain treatments, including algorithm-based analgesics, pain self-management, and cognitive behavioral therapy, versus usual care. This was the first of many interventions for chronic pain treatment of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans.

He can be reached at [email protected] or 317-988-2058

Olena Mazurenko

Olena Mazurenko is an assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management. She holds a PhD in Health Care Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, a medical degree in the specialty of Internal Medicine from Ukraine and completed her Master’s degree in International Health in Germany. Before joining IU, Mazurenko was an Assistant Professor of Health Care Administration and Policy at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Mazurenko’s research focuses on the interplay between patient-centered care and patient safety for patients requiring pain care. Recently, with funding from IU Clinical and Translational Science Institute, her research has focused on examining how patient experiences with pain care, as one the facets of patient-centered care, may be affected by the use of opioids in the hospital.

She is also interested in consumerism in health care, mainly through the High-Deductible Health Plans. Finally, Mazurenko also examines Medicaid expansion following the Affordable Care Act. Her research has appeared in Health Affairs, Health Care Management Review, and others.

She can be reached at [email protected] or  317-274-3341

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Newswise: Experts available to talk about new guidelines of long-term opioid use


Caption: Matthew Bair

Newswise: Experts available to talk about new guidelines of long-term opioid use


Caption: Olena Mazurenko