EFIC 2015 - Increase awareness of pain consequences

Symposium “Societal Impact of Pain” (SIP) at the 9th Congress of the European Pain Federation EFIC®

Increase awareness of the consequences of chronic pain

Vienna, September 2015. Suffering from chronic pain has a huge effect on the quality of life of those affected, as well as on society, the healthcare services, and the economy. The goal of the international “Social Impact of Pain (SIP)” platform is to increase awareness of these effects, as highlighted in the symposium at the 9th Congress of the European Pain Federation (EFIC®) in Vienna.

Our society often fails to realise the true significance of chronic pain. The international SIP platform aims to transform this lack of insight, as chronic pain has huge consequences in many areas of life.

The symposium was well attended and the effects of pain on society were discussed in sessions chaired by committee members Liisa Mikkonen, Viorica Cursaru, both of Pain Alliance Europe (PAE), and Dr Chris Wells, the EFIC® president.

Efficient pain management is a human right

In the first place, pain reduces the patient’s quality of life. “Efficient management of chronic pain can therefore be considered a basic human right,” emphasized  Dr Chris Wells. He pointed out that the impact of chronic pain on a patient’s social life, as well as the costs it incurs, are often forgotten. And the way in which European nations tackle the problems of pain differs greatly from country to county.  “Our aim is to ensure that the treatment of chronic pain gains higher priority in the healthcare policies of the EU and all its member states,” he declared.

Poorer quality of life, shorter life expectancy

The EFIC® president Dr Chris Wells called attention to the fact that chronic pain not only affects the patient’s ‘quality of life’ but also the ‘quantity of life’. “People who suffer from chronic pain tend to die earlier than patients without pain,” the pain specialist explained. In his opinion, the situation of patients with chronic pain could also be advanced by intensifying research but especially by improving the training and continuing medical education of doctors.

Read here the full SIP 2015 English Press Release (PDF).

Read here the SIP 2015 German Press Release (PDF).

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