Lynn DeBar, PhD, MPH, is a clinical psychologist and behavioral health researcher. Her work in recent years has focused primarily on the health care service needs of patients with chronic pain, particularly those with complicating comorbid conditions. She conducts both large-scale epidemiological studies examining the impact of health care policies on patient receipt of pain-related behavioral health and complementary and integrative health services, and pragmatic trials of multidisciplinary biopsychosocial treatment approaches for primary care patients with pain. Dr. DeBar works closely with physicians at Kaiser Permanente and other health systems to ensure that her research findings make their way into clinical practice and to identify real-world clinical practices with the potential to improve service delivery through large-scale adoption of behavioral and lifestyle interventions.
Dr. DeBar serves on the National Advisory Council for the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health and has been the principal investigator of projects funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institute of Mental Health, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.
Dr. DeBar holds a PhD in clinical and community psychology with an emphasis on health psychology from Yale University. Dr. DeBar also received an MPH from Oregon Health & Sciences University, where she focused on epidemiology and biostatistics. From 2002 to 2017, Dr. DeBar was on the faculty of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon. In 2017, she moved to Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute as a senior investigator. She has ongoing studies in both settings and plans to continue bridging the two research units. She is an affiliate professor in the University of Washington School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.
Physical-mental health comorbidity, self-care, chronic pain, shared decision-making
Synergistic combination of health services research and pragmatic clinical trials approaches
Promoting patient autonomy, supporting sustained self-management, use of technology-aided behavior change tools
Use for pain conditions broadly, association with self-care, mind-body therapies, coordination of complementary and integrative health with conventional medical care
Depression, anxiety, and chronic disease comorbidity, eating disorders
Prevention and treatment
Muench J, Hoopes M, Mayhew M, Pisciotta M, Shortreed SM, Livingston CJ, Von Korff M, DeBar LL. Reduction of long-term opioid prescribing for back pain in community health centers after a Medicaid policy change. J Am Board Fam Med. 2022;35(2):352-369. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2022.02.210306. PubMed
Smith DH, O’Keefe-Rosetti M, Leo MC, Mayhew M, Benes L, Bonifay A, Deyo RA, Elder CR, Keefe FJ, McMullen C, Owen-Smith A, Trinacty CM, Vollmer WM, DeBar L. Economic evaluation: a randomized pragmatic trial of a primary care-based cognitive behavioral intervention for adults receiving long-term opioids for chronic pain. Med Care. 2022 Mar 30. doi: 10.1097/MLR.0000000000001713. Online ahead of print. PubMed
Owen-Smith A, Black H, Emerson D, Cotner M, Smith H, Jackson D, Ford JD, DeBar L, DiClemente R, Hayat MJ. A pilot study to adapt a trauma-informed, mindfulness-based yoga intervention for justice-involved youth. Int J Yoga Therap. 2021 Dec 7. doi: 10.17761/2021-D-21-00032. Online ahead of print. PubMed
Scherrer JF, Salas J, Miller-Matero LR, Sullivan MD, Ballantyne JC, Debar L, Grucza RA, Lustman PJ, Ahmedani B. Long-term prescription opioid users' risk for new onset depression increases with frequency of use. Pain. 2022 Aug 1;163(8):1581-1589. doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000002547. Epub 2021 Nov 30. PubMed
DeBar L, Mayhew M, Benes L, Bonifay A, Deyo RA, Elder CR, Keefe FJ, Leo MC, McMullen C, Owen-Smith A, Smith DH, Trinacty CM, Vollmer WM. A primary care-based cognitive behavioral therapy intervention for long-term opioid users with chronic pain: a randomized pragmatic trial. Ann Intern Med. 2021 Nov 2. doi: 10.7326/M21-1436. Online ahead of print. PubMed
Cognitive behavioral therapy with yoga-based movement helps with pain for those on long-term opioids.
Health care is increasingly online—KPWHRI is studying telehealth options for opioid use disorder and chronic pain.
The latest on our research on chronic pain and opioids—and how the results influence health policy and clinical practice.
NIH Collaboratory Living Textbook of Pragmatic Clinical Trials, Nov 1, 2019