Adam T. Hirsh, Ph.D.
My lab conducts research on the biopsychosocial aspects of pain and functioning in humans. We study providers of pain care, patients who experience pain, and healthy laypersons.
(1) On the provider side, we use computer-simulated patients and environments to test hypotheses about the factors that influence pain judgments and treatment decisions. In this work, we are particularly interested in examining the mechanisms that underlie disparities in pain care, and in developing targeted interventions that improve providers’ pain treatment decisions.
(2) On the patient side, we have several ongoing projects in the Pain Clinic at Riley Children’s Hospital and the Indiana Polyclinic (a freestanding, multidisciplinary pain facility). For example, at Riley Children’s Hospital, we are examining how child and parent injustice appraisals about pain influence pain-related outcomes over time. At Indiana Polyclinic, we are conducting a clinical trial of an innovative intervention (coaching + online practice with a virtual provider) to empower Black patients with chronic pain to more effectively engage in shared decision-making with their providers.
(3) Our work with healthy laypersons uses laboratory-based quantitative sensory testing, which allows us to manipulate the pain stimulus and key psychosocial factors (e.g., participants’ pain-related expectations and coping strategies) to examine how these factors influence pain. We are a multidisciplinary lab and collaborate frequently with colleagues in Medicine, Nursing, Communication Science, Informatics, and Social Psychology.
See lab website