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French White Book on Pain ( Livre Blanc Douleur)

Serge Perrot – SFETD (Société Française d’Étude et de Traitement de la Douleur), France

The 9 measures as proposed by SFETD - Les 9 mesures proposées par la SFETD

The French organisation SFETD (Société Française d’Étude et de Traitement de la Douleur) has published a White Book dedicated entirely to the issue of (chronic) pain. The book is a result of a co-operation between health care professionals and patient representatives and considers the fight against chronic pain being one of the most complex challenges of future health care Systems.

According to SFETD, there are about 12 million people in France suffering from chronic pain actually. Only 3% of them are treated in a specialized centre, the majority of about 70% does not have access to adequate treatment and care. Since 2012, no new programmes or plans have been launched in France. So the country which used to lead the way in earlier years is at risk to lose this position. The description of the situation in France is followed by detailled epidemiological data, e.g. pain resulting from cancer, pain resulting from migraine, children and pain, elderly people and pain.

Furthermore, the authors have a look at the situation in Europe, where about 100 million people suffer from pain and chronic pain. Although this number is enormous, only few European countries are prepared to face this challenge which does not only have a medical dimension, but also a social and an economic one.

The authors of the White Book also give recommendations for the future.  More and better trainings for health care professionals should be offered. Health system structures should be revised and should focus on the patient - doctor relationship. The patient would have to contribute to a successful treatment, too, and patient organisations would play a very important role. The authors demand access to the best possible treatment for each patient, irrespective of the social or financial background. Pain management would have to be more effective, in emergencies and also ambulatory care. The new technologies should ideally be used to make it accessible for everybody in France. Prevention is also important and campaigns should be launched, focussing on prevention at work, after surgery, etc. Finally, it would be necessary to develop knowledge about non drug approaches and patient therapeutic education.

White Paper can be downloaded here


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