Canadian Pain Research Summit underway

Groundbreaking collaboration aims to help create national pain research agenda
MTC staff
September 20, 2016
By MTC staff
Researchers, clinicians, partners, charities, patients and policymakers got together this week for the Canadian Pain Research Summit hosted by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). The summit aims to create a national agenda that will help CIHR Institutes develop new funding opportunities for pain research.

Canada is an international leader in basic and pediatric pain research. The Government of Canada, through CIHR, has helped address the treatment and quality of care of patients suffering from pain by providing $16 million in annual funding support to over 1,200 physical and psychological pain researchers.

"The Government of Canada applauds all participants at the Canadian Pain Research Summit. Their collective effort to address gaps that currently exist between basic research and clinical practice will further the ability to improve treatments for Canadians who suffer from chronic, acute and psychological pain." Health Minister Jane Philpott said in a statement.

Through Canada's Strategy for Patient Oriented Research (SPOR), CIHR and its partners have also created a Chronic Pain Network which specializes in directing new research, training researchers and clinicians, increasing access to care for chronic pain sufferers, and speeding up the translation of the most recent research discoveries into care of patients.

"While Canada remains a prominent leader in this field, more needs to be done to address the complexities of pain on a physical, psychological and social level. Through this summit, CIHR is encouraging the type of multi-stakeholder collaboration that will allow the expansion of pain research and its translation into better pain management," said Dr. Alain Beaudet, CIHR president.

The development of an evidence-based Canadian Pain Research agenda at this summit will help Canadian researchers and clinicians create better care and treatments for patients who suffer from pain in social, psychological or physical ways, the CIHR said.

In addition to its impact on quality of life, chronic pain costs Canadians $43 to $60 billion per year in health care expenses and lost productivity at work (which is more than cancer, heart disease, and HIV combined).

Launched in 2011, Canada's SPOR initiative represents federal, provincial and territorial members (including patients, caregivers, researchers, policy makers, charities, private sector and university representatives) who work together to bring innovative diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to health care, and improve quality and accessibility of various treatments.

The summit, being held from Sept. 18 to 20, was organized by CIHR Institutes of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis (CIHR-IMHA), Aboriginal Peoples' Health (CIHR-IAPH), Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction (CIHR-INMHA), Cancer Research (CIHR-ICR), and Gender and Health (CIHR-IGH).

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