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What is this project about?

This research study seeks to understand the effects of sleep deprivation on pain and responses to pain medication in people with chronic low back pain.

This study is approved by the Johns Hopkins Institutional Review Board (IRB00160629). The principal investigator for this project is Michael T. Smith, PhD.


Am I eligible to participate?

We are looking for volunteers who are diagnosed with chronic low back pain and are between the ages of 18-60. We are also looking for healthy volunteers who are between the ages of 18-60, consider themselves a good sleeper, and have low caffeine use.

What will I be asked to do for this study?

Your participation in this study will involve: (1) undergoing a phone screen, (2) attending two in-person screening sessions at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Campus, (3) completing several overnight stays at our clinical research unit, and (4)  taking an FDA-approved pain medication.

  • For the in-person screening session, you will be asked to complete sensory testing.

  • For the overnight stays, you will be asked to stay in the clinical research unit during two visits. You will stay for a period of 3 nights in the first visit and a period of 2 nights in the second visit. 

Will I be compensated for my time in this study?

Yes. You can earn up to $1205 for completing all study-related visits. We will also reimburse you for parking at the Bayview Medical Campus. 

How can I find out more information?

For more information, please contact Rachel Brenowitz at 410-550-9058. You may also send us an email at

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