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26th Edition of the Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) newsletter

Prof. Bart Morlion – Multidisciplinary Pain Centre of the University of Leuven, Belgium

Dear Reader,

The 10-year anniversary Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) Symposium “BRINGING PAIN POLICY TO THE NEXT DECADE” on November 7 in Brussels is fast approaching with an exciting program, including several pre-meetings on November 6. We expect about 200 participants from 24 countries, representing many international and national organisations. More than 35 speakers will be on the program including high ranking representatives from the European institutions.

The program will focus on three main topics:

  1. How to build on the SIP achievements and implement the Joint Statement recommendations
  2. Sharing best practices from SIP national platforms and beyond
  3. The future of SIP after its first 10 years

Plenary sessions will be arranged to discuss the recommended policy actions of the four key areas of the SIP Joint Statement (health indicators, research, employment and education). In addition, about 30 posters will be presented from SIP national platforms and other SIP related initiatives. Registration for this exciting event in Brussels is now closed, but you may ask to be on the waiting list in case we receive any cancelations. Don´t worry if you cannot join - the sessions will be live streamed on the SIP website as well! Sign up now!

Over the last weeks several national Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) meetings have taken place, including an impressive event organised by SIP Slovenia on October 10 in Lubljana, Slovenia. About 30 speakers representing many national organisations and as well representatives from the SIP Europe team attended the meeting. Further, the meeting took place exactly eight years after the first national societal impact of pain meeting in Slovenia on 10 October, 2011. Another important meeting was held by SIP Portugal on October 18 where more than 80 representatives from national patient and healthcare organisations came together under the theme "Investigate, Evaluate, Educate, Act”.

The current focus of our SIP communications activities are on the last of the four key topics of our SIP Joint Statement Recommendations: “Pain as a Health Quality Indicator”. SIP calls on the European Commission and Member States to explore opportunities to build on existing instruments which are available to define, establish and/or use pain as an indicator in the assessment of healthcare systems’ quality. Despite the strong political consensus of the recent past, there is still a need to continue translating intention into decisive and effective action to improve pain care in the daily practice of healthcare delivery for the benefit of patients and society. In light of this, SIP has been actively promoting the implementation of the 11th revision of the WHO International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) and the WHO International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), with a specific focus on pain in health policies. SIP is currently working with experts and patients to produce concrete policy recommendations for the roll-out of both classifications. Recommendations will be presented at the SIP Symposium and delivered to the upcoming German Presidency of the Council of the EU (July-December 2020) with the aim of helping Member States to bridge the gap in how the societal impact of pain is measured and monitored. In anticipation of these recommendations, please do have look at the background documents that SIP has already produced: the infographics of ICD-11 and ICF explaining what the classification is, its use and their benefits.

To know more about our recommendations and our commitments on this topic, please read our Joint Statement which is available in many languages.

To know more about international and national SIP related conferences and events that will take place in 2019, please consult the SIP calendar.

Looking forward to welcoming you at SIP 2019 in Brussels!

Prof. Bart Morlion

Director of the Multidisciplinary Pain Centre of the University of Leuven, Belgium
President of the European Pain Federation EFIC

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