French White Book on Pain

The French Pain Society SFETD has recently published the "White Book on Pain". We have asked Professor Serge Perrot, the President of SFETD, what does it mean and what we can learn from this initiative.

What is the French White Book on Pain and who has prepared it?

It is a book of 300 pages, summarizing all aspects on pain in France: epidemiology, healthcare professionals, education for all professionals, pain management in all settings (hospital and private practice and all specific cares), current licensed drugs and difficulties for new approvals,  complementary medicines, safety issues... It is also a book where the French Pain Society (SFETD) is proposing relevant solutions and  approaches for a new policy on pain, for the whole country and all patients, with innovative aspects. It is really a national project that has involved many authors in a 6 months collaborative work. It was the start for important discussions and fruitful exchanges.

Why have you (and many other experts) in France created a White Paper on Pain?

More than 60 authors have participated in this project, coming from various fields and specialities: there are medical doctors from numerous specialties, nurses, psychologists, physiotherapists but also patients representatives, pharmacists, and veterinaries. This was built in the context of presidential elections in France in 2017, with a new government, as health was a central question of the presidential programme.

What can other countries learn from this French White Paper?

This could be an example on how to analyze all aspects of pain medicine, not only at the hospital and university levels but also at all levels where pain can be a problem: in emergency rooms, in psychiatry care, in long term dependency care, in pediatric care.   Extensive analyses and  involvement of numbers of participants coming from numerous fields is a strength of our white book, together with proposed innovations in pain management and healthcare strategies.

We present pain as a real healthcare problem, where all issues but also ethical solutions could represent an example for many other medical problems. We are hoping now that other European countries will also develop national white paper, with the final aim of merging all white papers in a European White Paper, directed by the SIP. Europe is our future, and this is also where important decisions and programmes may come.

Professor Perrot, thanks a lot to explain us this great initiative from France.

The White Book on Pain can be downloaded here.


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