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SIP 2017 - Key Statement

Dr. med. Kristin Kieselbach – University of Freiburg, Germany

"A comprehensive and high–quality medical care for all patients suffering from chronical pain should be centered in health care policy and pain therapy. Federal social policy can facilitate the interaction of different health care structures."


Dr. med. Kristin Kieselbach
Medical Director
Interdisciplinary Pain Center Medical Center, University of Freiburg

German Federal Land – tailored approaches as a comprehensive model to a nationwide improvement of pain health care, e.g. Baden – Württemberg, Germany

The medical care of patients suffering from chronical pain poses an important and urgent challenge in respect to individual suffering and the reduction of the health care economical impact. For Baden – Württemberg, an advisory board for pain health care, so-called “Landesbeirat Schmerzversorgung”, who counsels the Ministry of Social Affairs, was founded in the year 2000. In the same year, the advisory board developed and approved a concept for the improvement of centered pain –care, which could be implemented in most instances. By designation of certificated so-called Regional and Supraregional Pain Centers a major contribution to the improvement of pain health care could be achieved. These facilities were integrated in a graded pain care system. Beyond that structural criteria, processes and results in pain therapy were determined.

Currently the existing range of specified diagnostics and qualified pain therapy often still doesn’t reach many patients with chronical pain in Baden – Württemberg sufficiently. Therefore the advisory board for pain health care of the Ministry of Social Affairs, the “Landesbeirat Schmerzversorgung”, updated the concept for the improvement of pain based on the current pain health care situation and in respect to the demographic development and defined appropriate recommendations. Essential elements therefore are the establishment and further development of comprehensive networking in respect of medical – sectors and the establishment of integrated health care programs. Besides residential (pain care) specialists, also comprehensive psychotherapeutical and physiotherapeutical supply has to be established and integrated. A stronger involvement of patient organisations has to be put in practice as well. These approaches shall optimize the health care situation and quality of life of patients suffering from chronical pain timely and locally. The meanwhile implemented cooperative network also serves as a platform for further education and multicentric research.

Kristin Kieselbach, MD, specialist on neurosurgery and pain therapy, is since 2011 Medical Director of the Interdisciplinary Pain Center of the Medical Center, University of Freiburg. The Interdisciplinary Pain Center works since 2012 as a self-directed organization. Patients are treated in an outpatient manner, in a day-care clinic and in an inpatient ward with multimodal and interprofessional pain care “under one roof”. Kristin Kieselbach is engaged in health care policy and contributes to the medical chair of the advisory board for pain health care of the Ministry of Social Affairs Baden - Württemberg, the “Landesbeirat Schmerzversorgung”. She also participates in several working groups of the German Pain Association and has a leading part in collegiate education and education for residential specialists.