Conference on quality of life and the impact of pain on maltese citizens
Malta Health Network & No Pain Foundation, Malta
The conference was held on the 18th of April to present and discuss in three panel sessions the results of a pain research project which was carried out by the Malta Health Network (MHN) and No Pain Foundation (NPF). A multi-disciplinary expert group from Malta has designed and conducted this study which has started in 2017 and reported in 2018 based on a random sample of 1,100 members of the general public. The project was supported by the Voluntary Organisations Projects Scheme (VOPs) managed by the Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector on behalf of the Parliamentary secretary for youths, Sports and Voluntary Organisations (80%) and Co-financiated by Grünenthal GmbH.
The first panel presented the impressing results from this study on the quality of life and the burden of chronic pain in the Maltese population. Research data and individual stories were shared in this session "I feel that the pain is affecting my life extremely as I want to be active and I cannot. Before there wasn’t an event I would miss. (Male pain patient – Age 68)". "
The second panel focused on comparing the Maltese pain research data with European data on chronic pain and its impact of on patient, family and society. Professor Boaz Samolsky-Dekel (Scientific Director, NPF) presented the results of a survey from 15 European countries where 19% suffered from chronic pain, of which 40% complained that pain was inadequately managed. Prof Samolsky-Dekel concluded that chronic pain conditions can be a substantial socio-economic burden and should therefore be a priority for policy makers. Dr. Gudula Petersen (Grünenthal) presented the international Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) platform and how the SIP strategy is now implemented on a national level in several European countries. She explained the importance of valid pain research data to convince policy maker to improve the management of pain. "SIP Malta is a great best practice of a national initiative how to follow our recommended strategy".
The third and final session focused on key policy proposals to address the impact of pain on Maltese citizens, which also included a discussion on the proposed measures. The audience debated the major gaps in pain management in Malta and ways to improve such.
Gertrude Buttigieg closed the meeting with the words ‘We need to keep the momentum ongoing. Let us define our next steps and call for action now!’.
Read also the full conference report.