Center of Excellence Personnel - MIRECC / CoE
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Center of Excellence Personnel

 Lisham Ashrafioun, Ph.D.

VA Appointment: Investigator
Academic Affiliation: Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry,
University of Rochester Medical Center

Lee A.

Contact Info
(585) 393-7722 


Research Interests

My research interests and experiences have spanned across distinct and overlapping areas of chronic pain, suicide prevention, and substance use, particularly opioid misuse. I am interested in assessing nonpharmacological pain management approaches and opioid risk mitigation strategies, particularly combining various forms of self-management strategies, on substance use, functioning, and vulnerability of suicide-related outcomes.

I am also interested in characterizing suicide risk in individuals who experience chronic pain and in individuals misusing substances through the use of national survey and administrative medical record data. By characterizing risk in these populations, novel interventions and intervention targes can be identified to optimize substance use treatment, pain management and suicide prevention in patients experiencng pain and/or misusing substances.

Select Publications

Ashrafioun L, Bishop TM, Britton PC. Opioid use disorders, psychiatric comorbidities, and risk for suicide attempts among veterans seeking pain care. Psychol Med. 2019;Epub:1-6.
Ashrafioun L, Kane C, Bishop TM, Britton PC, Pigeon WR. The association of pain intensity and suicide attempts among patients initiating pain specialty services. J Pain. 2019;20:852-9.
Ashrafioun L, Heavey S, Bishop TM, Canarapen T, Pigeon WR. Suicide ideation, planning, and attempts are associated with reasons for prescription opioid misuse in a nationally representative sample. J Affect Disord. 2019;249:45-51.
Ashrafioun L, Bishop TM, Conner KR, Pigeon WR. Frequency of prescription opioid misuse and suicidal ideation, planning, and attempts. J Psychiatric Res. 2017;92:1-7.
Ashrafioun L, Kane C, Stephens B, Britton P, Conner KR. Suicide attempts among alcohol-dependent pain patients before and after an inpatient hospitalization. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2016;163:209-15.
Ashrafioun L, Pigeon WR, Conner KR, Leong SH, Oslin DW. Prevalence and correlates of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among veterans in primary care referred for a mental health evaluation. J Affect Disord. 2015;189:344-50.

Current Funding

2018-2020 VA Office of Rural Health A theraputic milieu for agriculture vocation training and mental health Co-I
The goal of this study is to implement and evaluate the impact of an agricultural program on pain, mental health and vocational outcomes.
2016-2019 VA Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention; CoE Developing a CBT-Pain intervention that includes a Veteran-centric, internet-developed insomnia intervention to decrease suicide attempts and unintentional overdose among pain patients. PI
The goal of this study is to refine a web-based version of CBT for Insomnia then test the feasability and acceptability of a combined web-based CBT-I and face-to-face brief CBT-Pain.  

Past Funding

2018 VA Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Whole Health Implementation: Effect on functional improvement, reduction of opioid use and factors associated with suicidal ideation Co-I
The goal of this study is to implement a Whole Health Program to enhance functioning well-being among Veterans experiencing chronic pain.  
2015-2016 VISN 2 Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention Pilot Grant Suicide attempts prior to and following referral to VHA pai clinics PI
The goal of this study is to characterize factors of suicide attempts following referral and initiation of specialty pain services among Veterans in the VHA.  
2014-2016 VA Advanced Feelowship in Mental Illness Research and Treatment   Postdoctoral Fellow
The primary goal of the fellowship program is to train psychologists and other health professionals to become clinical researchers in high priority areas of mental health.  
2012 Katzner Graduate Student Research and Professional Development The relationship between pain level and craving for prescription opioids  
The goal of this study was to assess the impact of cue exposure on craving for prescription opioids and its relationship with pain.