Ann Van de Winckel, PhD, MSPT, PT, assistant professor in the Division of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, received a notice of award from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) for her R34 grant, “HAPPINESS: cHAnging the Perceived Pain INtensity in divErSe populations with Spinal cord injury: A feasibility study.”

Neuropathic pain impacts 69% of adults with spinal cord injury (SCI). The usual treatment with pain medications has insufficient benefits and carries risks for addiction and adverse effects. Of the available mind and body approaches, Qigong is the most accessible for adults with spinal cord injury, but there is not enough evidence to make recommendations for adults with these types of injuries.

The HAPPINESS grant will investigate the feasibility of a remotely delivered Qigong practice vs. pain management surveys to reduce spinal cord injury-related neuropathic pain. The clinical trial is available to English- and Spanish-speaking adults with spinal cord injury-related neuropathic pain. The project will be conducted in collaboration with the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley, which has a 98% Hispanic population.