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A new comprehensive publication on chronic pain and how European health systems are tackling it

Vittoria Carraro – Euroepan Pain Federation EFIC, Belgium

Chronic pain affects at least 20% of the adult population in Europe. Musculoskeletal and joint pain, back pain, abdominal pain, and headache dominate (Breivik, et al., 2006). Pain is the primary reason people seek help of healthcare providers (Eccleston et al, 2017). Therefore, pain places a severe strain on the individual but also on society, including an enormous economic burden to health care systems. Experts estimate that half of all citizens living in the EU at some point in their lives suffer from back pain. Approximately 15 percent of these citizens with back pain are on sick leave for over one month (Bevan, et al., 2009).

So what are we doing about it?

On 14 December a new book edited by Professor Christopher Eccleston, Bart Morlion and Chris Wells was launched.

The book comprises three sections:

  1. The first explores the extent of the pain problem in Europe.
  2. In the second section 37 International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) chapters share information from where they live and practice, providing us with an overview of how pain is managed in their health systems along with examples of local innovations in this domain.
  3. In the final section, European experts focus on common issues relevant to all countries, e.g. education and training for different specialties, opioid prescribing and the challenges with fostering pain management in low income countries.

The final chapter looks to the future and invites all relevant stakeholder to work together to progress pain management for our patients.

The book will be distributed in January 2018 via mail to those who signed up for a copy at the 10th EFIC Congress earlier this year.

You can also order the book at this link:

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