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
Tuzzio L, Meyers CM, Dember LM, Grudzen CR, Melnick ER, Staman KL, Huang SS, Richards J, DeBar L, Vazquez MA, Green BB, Coronado GD, Jarvik JG, Braciszewski J, Ho M, Wells BL, James K, Toto R, D'Onofrio G, Volandes A, Kuklinski MR, Catalano RF, Sterling SA, Morse EF, Curtis L, Larson EB. Accounting for quality improvement during the conduct of embedded pragmatic clinical trials within healthcare systems: NIH collaboratory case studies. Healthc (Amst). 2021 Jun;8 Suppl 1:100432. doi: 10.1016/j.hjdsi.2020.100432. Epub 2021 Jun 23. PubMed
Firemark AJ, Schneider JL, Kuntz JL, Papajorgji-Taylor D, Dickerson JF, Thorsness LA, Reese KR, Sullivan MD, Debar LL, Smith DH. "We need to taper" interviews with clinicians and pharmacists about use of a pharmacy-led opioid tapering program. Pain Med. 2021 May 21;22(5):1213-1222. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnaa442. PubMed
Heapy AA, Driscoll MA, Buta E, LaChappelle KM, Edmond S, Krein SL, Piette JD, Mattocks K, Murphy JL, DeBar L, MacLean RR, Ankawi B, Kawecki T, Martino S, Wagner T, Higgins DM. Co-Operative Pain Education and Self-management (COPES) Expanding Treatment for Real-World Access (ExTRA): pragmatic trial protocol. Pain Med. 2020 Dec 12;21(Supplement_2):S21-S28. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnaa365. PubMed
Von Korff M, DeBar LL, Deyo RA, Mayhew M, Kerns RD, Goulet JL, Brandt C. Identifying multisite chronic pain with electronic health records data. Pain Med. 2020 Sep 11:pnaa295. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnaa295. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Scherrer JF, Ahmedani B, Autio K, DeBar L, Lustman PJ, Miller-Matero LR, Salas J, Secrest S, Sullivan MD, Wilson L, Skiold-Hanlin S. The prescription opioids and depression Pathways cohort study. J Psychiatr Brain Sci. 2020;5. pii: e200009. doi: 10.20900/jpbs.20200009. Epub 2020 Apr 28. PubMed
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.
Drs. DeBar, Bradley, and Sherman lead projects in initiative to tackle opioid crisis.
NIH Collaboratory Living Textbook of Pragmatic Clinical Trials, Nov 1, 2019