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38th Edition of the Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) newsletter

Dr. Brona Fullen & Ms. Deirdre Ryan – European Pain Federation EFIC & Pain Alliance Europe (PAE), Belgium

Dear Reader,

We hope you are well and are enjoying the spring blossom after a long winter.

On the 3rd May 2022, the European Commission published a proposal to create the European Health Data Space (EHDS), a major development for the EU’s digital health policy. The EHDS will enhance access and use of health data for research, innovation, public health, and policy-making, and will promote safe exchange of patients’ data and citizens’ control over their health data.

SIP responded to the European Commission’s Health Data Space Roadmap, and called for the implementation of the ICD-11 definition of pain throughout healthcare systems. The implementation of ICD-11 will help improve the analysis of health systems performance, and provide the research community with data to facilitate further clinical research. This recommendation was a part of SIP’s Digital Health Position Paper, which was launched on the 31st of March 2022 at SIP’s virtual multi-stakeholder event entitled “How can digitalising health services reduce the societal impact of pain?

The 12th congress of the European Pain Federation EFIC took place 27-30 April in Dublin, Ireland. The theme of the congress was “Targeting Pain and its Comorbidities in the Digital Age”, and around 2000 attendees participated either in person on-site or via the virtual platform. It was wonderful to finally be able to meet in person again after 18 months since the last in-person opportunity for the European pain community. At the congress SIP hosted a workshop related to its policy recommendations for cancer-related pain. Following the workshop, a call to action was made to ensure that the implementation of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan reflects the EFIC Standards, SIP’s Recommendations, and patient perspectives when being implemented across European Member States. SIP also took the opportunity to host a hybrid meeting at the congress, where attendees participated in an active discussion about SIP and its activities, shared knowledge from the SIP National Platforms, and discussed the future of SIP.

During the rest of 2022, SIP will be working on a new European Road Map Monitor survey, that builds on the European Road Map Monitor from 2019. The survey aims to give an understanding of the development of national pain guidelines and action plans over the last three years. The results are expected to be made available by the end of 2022.

The second National Platform call of the year took place 11th May, where attendees had the opportunity to hear the latest updates on the EU Health Data Space, discuss the European Road Map Monitor update, and discuss SIP’s policy and advocacy plans for ICD-11 and ICF.

Pain Alliance Europe (PAE) thanks all the applicants to the Brain, Mind and Pain (BMP) Grant. The third edition of the BMP Grant aims to explore and provide practical solutions for people living with pain, and struggling with healthy sleep. In June the BMP Grant Jury will deliberate on the applications. We look forward to congratulating the winner(s) in early July.

Finally, please remember to visit our website, and follow us on our social media channels so you do not miss anything! You can also keep up to date with SIP’s future activities by checking out our events section of our website.

Once again, we would like to thank you for your continued collaboration and support.

We wish you a great summer.

Best wishes,

Dr. Brona Fullen, President of European Pain Federation EFIC &
Ms. Deirdre Ryan, President of Pain Alliance Europe (PAE)

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