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NCCIH Research Blog

An Invitation to Complementary and Integrative Health Researchers To Address Deprescribing of Benzodiazepines; Teaming Event on November 9, 2022

October 27, 2022


Pete Murray, Ph.D.

Program Director

Clinical Research in Complementary and Integrative Health Branch

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

View biographical sketch

The US Deprescribing Research Network (USDeN), a network of researchers funded by the National Institute on Aging, is united by a shared interest in improving research on deprescribing for older adults. The USDeN has an exciting new initiative for pilot studies of interventions that use complementary and integrative health approaches to support deprescribing of benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines are a class of psychiatric drugs approved to treat generalized anxiety disorder, insomnia, seizures, social phobia, and panic disorder. While benzodiazepines have been shown to have efficacy in treating these conditions, there are considerable risks associated with benzodiazepine use including abuse, misuse, and addiction.

In the summer of 2022, USDeN was awarded an administrative supplement from NCCIH to fund pilot studies evaluating complementary and integrative approaches to deprescribing of benzodiazepines. The network is currently soliciting grant applications for these pilot studies.

To facilitate networking and collaborations between deprescribing and complementary and integrative health scientific communities, NCCIH is organizing a virtual teaming event that will provide a forum for researchers from different fields to come together, share ideas, and explore collaboration opportunities.

If interested in learning more about the funding opportunity and meeting like-minded researchers interested in deprescribing research, please register to attend the teaming event on November 9, from noon to 1 p.m. ET. The meeting will begin on Zoom with introductions and directions; the interactive networking portion of the meeting will follow on the Gather network.

Through this interactive, online teaming activity, we hope to foster successful collaborations for pilot studies evaluating interventions that employ complementary and integrative approaches to support deprescribing of benzodiazepines, non-benzodiazepines, and benzodiazepine receptor agonists (i.e., the “Z drugs,” such as zolpidem or eszopiclone) in older adults. The goal of these studies should be to test study procedures, refine interventions, assess feasibility and acceptability, and/or other such goals. By the end of the 1-year study period the research team will be well-positioned to apply for a large grant funding opportunity to conduct a definitive clinical trial. Proposals may request a budget of up to $160,000 (combined direct and indirect costs), or higher with advance permission, and the resultant studies will be completed within approximately 1 year. Letters of intent are due by November 14, 2022, and applications are due by December 16, 2022.

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