5217-Bair, Matthew

Matthew J. Bair, MD

Professor of Medicine

VA Center for Health Information and Communication, Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center
1481 W 10th Street, 11H

Indianapolis, IN 46202
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After serving 19 years as a Core Investigator, in 2023 Dr. Bair became the Director for the VA Health Services Research and Development Center for Health Information and Communication, and continues his work as a staff physician at Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center, and as a Regenstrief Research Scientist. Dr. Bair’s principal research focus has been on chronic pain and psychological comorbidity and developing strategies to improve pain management in the primary care setting. He has a strong background in conducting clinical trials; developing and testing interventions that combine pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatments. His funded work in particular contrasts pharmacological and behavioral approaches to pain management. Over the last decade, he has led or participated with research teams and conducted 11 randomized clinical effectiveness trials. Seven trials have been completed and four are ongoing. 

Dr. Bair currently serves as editorial board member for Pain Medicine and the Journal of General Internal Medicine. He has served on several national VA committees related to improving pain management. These include the National VA Pain Research Working Group and the VA National Pain Management Strategic Coordinating Committee. Outside the VA, he has served on the American Pain Society Clinical Practice Guidelines Committee. 

Dr. Bair has taught implementation research methods and evidence-based medicine to medical residents, fellows, and IUPUI junior faculty.  In 2013, Indiana University medical students selected him as “Outstanding Educator” and in 2014, he received an Indiana University Teaching Award for his instruction in the Student Outpatient Clinic.


chronic pain, primary care, clinical trials, affective disorders in chronic pain  |  implementation research  |  medical education

Key Publications

Bair MJ, Robinson RL, Katon W, Kroenke K. Depression and pain co-morbidity: A literature review.
Archives of Internal Medicine 2003; 163:2433-2445.

Bohnert ASB, Valenstein M, Bair MJ, Ganoczy D, McCarthy JF, Ilgen MA, Blow FC. The Association between Opioid Prescribing Patterns and Opioid Overdose-Related Deaths. JAMA 2011;305:1315-1321.

Bair MJ, Bohnert AS. Overdoses in patients on opioids: Risks associated with mental health conditions and their treatment. Journal of General Internal Medicine 2015. Aug;30(8):1051-3

Kroenke K, Bair MJ, Damush TM, Wu J, Hoke S, Sutherland JM, Tu W. Optimized Antidepressant Therapy and Pain Self-Management in Primary Care Patients with Musculoskeletal Pain and Depression: A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA 2009;301:2099-2110

Krebs EE, Gravely A, Nugent S, Jensen AC, DeRonne B, Goldsmith ES, Kroenke K, Bair MJ, Noorbaloochi S. Effect of opioid vs non-opioid medications on pain-related function in patients with chronic back pain or hip or knee osteoarthritis pain: the SPACE randomized clinical trial. JAMA 2018;319(9):872-882.

Kroenke K, Krebs E, Wu J, Yu Z, Chumbler N, Bair MJ. Collaborative Telecare Management of Chronic Pain in Primary Care: A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA 2014;312(3):240-248.

Bair MJ, Ang D, Wu J, Outcalt SD, Sargent C, Kempf C, Froman A, Schmid AA, Damush TM, Yu Z, Davis LW, Kroenke K. Evaluation of Stepped Care for Chronic Pain (ESCAPE) in Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan Conflicts: A Randomized Trial. JAMA Internal Medicine 2015;175(5):682-689.

Matthias MS, Krebs EE, Collins LA, Bergman AA, Coffing J, Bair MJ. “I’m Not Abusing or Anything”: Patient-Physician Communication about Opioid Treatment in Chronic Pain. Patient Education and Counseling 2013. 93:197-202.

Matthias MS, Collins LA, Sargent C, Bair MJ. “A Burden on My Soul”: Veterans’ Accounts of the Effects of Pain after Combat. Military Medicine 2014. 179(1):26-30.

Matthias MS, Krebs EE, Collins LA, Bergman AA, Coffing J, Bair MJ. Communicating about Opioids for Chronic Pain: A Qualitative Study of Patient Attributions and the Influence of the Patient-Physician Relationship. European Journal of Pain 2014;18(6):835-843.

Bair MJ, Krebs EE. In the Clinic: Managing Patients with Fibromyalgia. Annals of Internal Medicine 2020;172(5):ITC33-ITC48.

Titles & Appointments

  • Professor of Medicine
  • Research Scientist, Indiana University Center for Health Services and Outcomes Research, Regenstrief Institute, Inc.
  • Core Investigator, VA HSR&amp
  • D Center for Health Information and Communication, Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center

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