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
Owen-Smith AA, Ahmedani BK, Peterson E, Simon GE, Rossom RC, Lynch F, Lu CY, Waitzfelder BE, Beck A, DeBar L, Sanon V, Maaz Y, Khan S, Miller-Matero LR, Prabhakar D, Frank C, Drake CL, Braciszewski J. The mediating effect of sleep disturbance on the relationship between non-malignant chronic pain and suicide death. Pain Pract. 2019 Apr;19(4):382-389. doi: 10.1111/papr.12750. Epub 2019 Jan 18. PubMed
Dahlhamer J, Lucas J, Zelaya C, Nahin R, Mackey S, DeBar L, Kerns R, Von Korff M, Porter L, Helmick C. Prevalence of chronic pain and high-impact chronic pain among adults -United States, 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2018;67(36):1001-1006. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6736a2. PubMed
Smith DH, Kuntz J, DeBar L, Mesa J, Yang X, Boardman D, Schneider J. A qualitative study to develop materials educating patients about opioid use before and after total hip or total knee arthroplasty. J Opioid Manag. 2018 May/Jun;14(3):183-190. doi: 10.5055/jom.2018.0448. PubMed
Kligler B, Bair MJ, Banerjea R, DeBar L, Ezeji-Okoye S, Lisi A, Murphy JL, Sandbrink F, Cherkin DC. Clinical policy recommendations from the VHA state-of-the-art conference on non-pharmacological approaches to chronic musculoskeletal pain. J Gen Intern Med. 2018 Apr 9. pii: 10.1007/s11606-018-4323-z. doi: 10.1007/s11606-018-4323-z. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Becker WC, DeBar LL, Heapy AA, Higgins D, Krein SL, Lisi A, Makris UE, Allen KD. A research agenda for advancing non-pharmacological management of chronic musculoskeletal pain: findings from a VHA state-of-the-art conference. J Gen Intern Med. 2018 May;33(Suppl 1):11-15. doi: 10.1007/s11606-018-4345-6. 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