Aleksandra Zgierska, MD, PhD

    • Source: Scopus
    • Calculated based on no. of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
    19972020

    Research output per year

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    Personal profile

    Research interests

    Dr. Aleksandra Zgierska is a physician-scientist whose research, educational and advocacy work is rooted in her clinical practice. Board-certified in family medicine and addiction medicine, and with extensive experience in caring for adults with chronic pain, her studies have focused on improving health outcomes in addiction, pain and other impactful conditions, spanning diverse methodologies, including multi-center, mixed-methods randomized controlled trials, health services research, system-wide quality improvement initiatives, stakeholder engagement and community-based implementation projects.

    Dr. Zgierska has studied mindfulness meditation-based interventions that suggested meditation as a promising therapy for addiction and opioid-treated chronic pain, leading to a current five-year multi-center randomized controlled trial assessing the effectiveness of meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy among adults with opioid-treated chronic low back pain.

    Currently, she is developing protocols, as a part of a multi-center team, for increasing engagement in research among pregnant women who use drugs, laying the foundation for a future birth cohort study aimed at separating the impact on child development of in utero exposure to drugs, especially opioids, from that of adverse childhood experiences and other factors.

    She leads the evaluation of a federally funded, citywide initiative that offers pre-arrest diversion from criminal justice to addiction treatment for adults who committed a minor drug-use-related crime.

    Her research suggesting that the implementation of patient satisfaction ratings may unintentionally promote inappropriate opioid prescribing contributed to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services decision to remove "pain questions" from the scoring formula used in the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program.

    Dr. Zgierska is associate director for pain studies in Penn State Addiction Center for Translation and co-director of Penn State Health's pain and wellness program.

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Zgierska received the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences and Social Science Research Institute award to identify and address the impact of the pandemic on pregnant women and new mothers. Jointly with colleagues, she has been involved in several projects funded to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on patients and communities.

    Clinical interests

    Dr. Aleksandra Zgierska has a special interest in pain management. She provides primary care to children and adults and specialty care to patients with chronic pain and addiction.

    Professional information

    Board-certified in family medicine, American Board of Family Medicine

    Board-certified in addiction medicine, American Board of Preventive Medicine/American Board of Addiction Medicine

    Member, American Academy of Family Physicians

    Member, American Academy of Pain Medicine

    Member and Distinguished Fellow, American Society of Addiction Medicine

    Member, North American Primary Care Research Group

    Member, Physicians for Social Responsibility

    Education/Academic qualification

    Clinical Research, Fellowship (NIH/NIAAA), University of Wisconsin - Madison

    20062008

    Family Medicine, Residency, University of Wisconsin - Madison

    20022006

    Internal Medicine, PhD, National Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases

    19961999

    Internship, Medical University of Warsaw, University Clinical Center, Central Clinical Hospital

    19951996

    MD, Medical University of Warsaw

    … → 1995

    External positions

    Co-Chair, Substance Use Disorder Special Interest Group, American Academy Pain Medicine

    Vice Chair, Chapters' Council, Ex Officio Member of the Board of Directors and Public Policy Committee Member, American Society of Addiction Medicine

    Trainer, Buprenorphine Waiver Training, American Society of Addiction Medicine

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