John M. Hollier, MD, a board-certified pediatric gastroenterologist, is an Assistant Professor at Baylor College of Medicine who seeks to obtain essential skills and mentored research experience for an independent career as a pediatric clinical researcher utilizing health technologies. Many aspects of medicine are affected by poor medication adherence, ill-advised health behaviors, and poor access to medical care. The candidate?s career goal is to conquer these barriers by harnessing the potential of current (e.g., mobile) and future technologies as tools to fulfill these endeavors. Functional abdominal pain disorders (FAPDs) affect up to 20% of school-age children (and adults) worldwide and are associated with significant morbidity and health care costs. Up to 60% of children with FAPDs go on to have similar conditions as adults. Many affected children suffer from psychosocial distress like anxiety and depression. The most effective treatment for these disorders (psychological interventions) remains out of reach for most children with FAPDs. The applicant proposes to refine his innovative mobile application (App) prototype designed to remotely deliver audio- recorded guided imagery therapy (ARGIT App) for pediatric patients with FAPDs using accepted technology development techniques.
Specific Aims : 1) Refine our ARGIT App prototype?s design, operation, and GIT session content via patient, caregiver, and expert stakeholders? feedback by using qualitative interviews 2) Conduct a double-blind, randomized controlled trial comparing GIT versus deep breathing exercises (control) utilizing the refined ARGIT App over 8 weeks in children with FAPDs to assess the efficacy of guided imagery therapy and evaluate whether psychosocial distress is altered as a result of this intervention over time. 3) Assess acceptability of the refined ARGIT App among affected children and their caregivers through qualitative interviews. Dr. Hollier has assembled a multidisciplinary team of esteemed NIH-funded mentors and collaborators with a diverse range of expertise in mobile health App development, clinical trial methodology, qualitative research methods, and health behavior change specialists. In addition, the candidate will acquire additional skills and training through didactic coursework, workshops, directed readings, and conferences. The scientific training obtained through this grant will lead to publications, data, and experience that will enable the candidate to secure NIH funding and establish himself as an independent physician scientist.

Public Health Relevance

Functional abdominal pain disorders (FAPDs) often are associated with significant morbidity including psychosocial distress and poor health-related quality of life, affects as many as 20% of school-age children and adolescents worldwide, and often are not adequately treated with effective psychosocial therapies, in part, due to lack of access. The goal of this proposal is to refine and assess efficacy of our mobile application prototype designed to remotely deliver guided imagery therapy sessions, an effective psychosocial therapy for FAPDs, into a user centered clinical tool using accepted technology development techniques based on the recommendations of clinical stakeholders: affected children, their caregivers, and medical and psychological experts. The results of this study will lead to a novel user centered clinical tool that should increase access to a highly effective therapy for pediatric patients for FAPDs.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23)
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Kidney, Urologic and Hematologic Diseases D Subcommittee (DDK)
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Osganian, Voula
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Baylor College of Medicine
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United States
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