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Research interests

Erin E. Krebs, MD, MPH is a Core Investigator at the Minneapolis VA Center for Chronic Disease Outcomes Research and Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Minnesota. She is a general internist with an active primary care practice and also serves as Women’s Health Medical Director for the Minneapolis VA. Her research focuses on chronic pain management in primary care and benefits and harms of opioid analgesics.


Current research funding

IIR 14-295 (VA HSR&D)                                          7/1/2015-6/31/2019

Effects of VHA Opioid Policy on Prescribing and Patient-Centered Outcomes

Prospective longitudinal study that will use nationally representative surveys of patients on long-term opioids, together with VHA data, to examine relationships between patient-reported outcomes and changes in opioid and other pain therapies

Role: PI


R01 AT008387 (NIH NCCIH)                                  9/1/2014-8/31/2018

Longitudinal Mixed Method Study of Chronic Pain, PTSD, & CAM in OEF/OIF Veterans         

Prospective observational study to understand the development of chronic pain, and utilization of CAM, other non-pharmacological approaches, and opioids for pain management.

Role: Co-PI (with Melissa Polusny, PhD)


IIR 11-125 (VA HSR&D)                                          9/1/2012 – 5/31/2017                         

Strategies for Prescribing Analgesics Comparative Effectiveness Trial (SPACE)

Randomized pragmatic trial comparing the effectiveness and harms over 12 months of opioid vs. non-opioid-based analgesic strategies for chronic musculoskeletal pain

Role: PI

Fingerprint The Fingerprint is created by mining the titles and abstracts of the person's research outputs and projects/funding awards to create an index of weighted terms from discipline-specific thesauri.

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Pain Medicine & Life Sciences
Opioid Analgesics Medicine & Life Sciences
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Projects 2012 2021

Pain Management
Opioid Analgesics
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
Chronic Pain
Medical Marijuana
Opioid Analgesics
Pharmaceutical Preparations

Research Output 2002 2018

1 Citations

Association of mental health conditions and treatments with long-term opioid analgesic receipt among adolescents

Quinn, P. D., Hur, K., Chang, Z., Scott, E. L., Krebs, E. E., Bair, M. J., Rickert, M. E., Gibbons, R. D., Kroenke, K. & D'Onofrio, B. M., May 1 2018, In : JAMA Pediatrics. 172, 5, p. 423-430 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Mental Health Associations
Opioid Analgesics
Mental Health
Substance-Related Disorders
22 Citations

Effect of opioid vs nonopioid medications on pain-related function in patients with chronic back pain or hip or knee osteoarthritis pain the SPACE randomized clinical trial

Krebs, E. E., Gravely, A., Nugent, S., Jensen, A. C., DeRonne, B., Goldsmith, E. S., Kroenke, K., Bair, M. J. & Noorbaloochi, S., Mar 6 2018, In : JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association. 319, 9, p. 872-882 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hip Osteoarthritis
Knee Osteoarthritis
Back Pain
Chronic Pain
Opioid Analgesics

Making Integrated Multimodal Pain Care a Reality: A Path Forward

Kerns, R. D., Krebs, E. E. & Atkins, D., May 1 2018, In : Journal of general internal medicine. 33

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial


Opioids vs nonopioids for chronic back, hip, or knee pain — Reply

Krebs, E. E., Gravely, A. & Noorbaloochi, S., Aug 7 2018, In : JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association. 320, 5, p. 508-509 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

“I Was a Little Surprised”: Qualitative Insights From Patients Enrolled in a 12-Month Trial Comparing Opioids With Nonopioid Medications for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain

Matthias, M. S., Donaldson, M. T., Jensen, A. C. & Krebs, E. E., Sep 1 2018, In : Journal of Pain. 19, 9, p. 1082-1090 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Musculoskeletal Pain
Chronic Pain
Opioid Analgesics