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SIP 2019: European survey on national pain plans

Vittoria Carraro, Paul Cameron, Deirdre Ryan

SIP 2019: European survey on national pain plans
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European Survey on National Pain Plans: results and implications


  • Vittoria Carraro (European Pain Federation EFIC)
  • Paul Cameron (NHS Fife, Pain Service)
  • Deirdre Ryan (Pain Alliance Europe PAE)

Moderators: Michael von Fisenne (Grünenthal), Joke Jaarsma (European Federation of Neurological Associations – EFNA)

Session Objective

The most recent SIP Survey on National Pain Plans has been presented during this session. Discussions focused on identifying how national pain plans and pain policies have developed since the original survey in 2011 and the survey in 2014.

The speakers Vittoria Carraro (EFIC), Deirdre Ryan (PAE), Paul Cameron (NHS) and Joke Jaarsma (ENFA) as the moderator discussed how these results reflect the current status at European and national level as well as what implications these findings have on addressing the societal impact of pain, with focus on the four thematic areas of the SIP Joint Statement.

The session paved the way for a more in-depth policy discussion on each section of the SIP Joint Statement in the later plenary sessions on the program.

Policy Opportunities

At European level, the Survey provides a snapshot of pain policies in Europe and provides an opportunity to design evidence-based policies. Similarly, at national level, the Survey can provide impetus to call on policymakers to implement a national pain plan and identify gaps in current approaches and stakeholder involvement in policy making.


In 2011, SIP published The Societal Impact of Pain A Road Map for Action (1). It called on European governments and EU institutions to established an EU platform to enable the exchange, comparison, and benchmarking of best practice between member states on pain management and its impact on society; and use the platform to monitor trends and provide guidelines to ensure harmonisation across EU member states. SIP partners adapted the 2019 Survey to capture the status of implementation of the policy priorities, which were identified in 2018 in the SIP Joint Statement (2).

To better understand the existing status of the priorities set out under the Road Map, gauge progress, and provide evidence for policy makers, a questionnaire was designed to monitor the national implementation of the SIP 2011 Roadmap (3), throughout Europe. The exercise was repeated in 2014 (4).

The SIP Steering Committee agreed to conduct the survey once again in 2019, to get an overview of the status of national pain plans across Europe and to identify any changes in national pain policies.

The 2019 survey collected information on:

  • General questions related to national pain networks
  • Indicators related to the measurement and monitoring of pain
  • Research, notably on funding of pain research
  • Employment, with pain as the number one reason for absenteeism and disability
  • Education, assessing whether pain is a dedicated subject for HCPs training, patient education and general public awareness

Initially launched as a pilot in Spain during the summer of 2019, the broad roll-out to all European countries began in October 2019.

The preliminary results of the survey and its implications have been presented and discussed during the SIP 2019 Symposium. A full report is under preparation and will be available by end of 2019.



You can find more materials from the SIP 2019 Symposium here:

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  1. Societal Impact of Pain (SIP)
  2. Resources
  3. Resources Details


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