THE SOCIETAL IMPACT OF PAIN - A ROAD MAP FOR ACTION

In 2001, the European Federation of the International Association for the Study of Pain Chapters (EFIC®) published its Declaration on Pain which called on national governments and the EU Institutions to increase the level of awareness of the societal impact of pain. With limited EU policy action over the following 10 years, the ‘Societal Impact of Pain’ (SIP) Platform was developed in 2009 and is today led by the European Pain Federation (EFIC) and Pain Alliance Europe (PAE). 

Over the years SIP has developed several questionnaires to better understand the existing status of the priorities set out under the Road Map, gauge progress, and provide evidence for policy makers. The latest survey “The European Road Map monitor 2019” looked at the status of national guidelines and action plans, to reflect on the status of policies supporting the updated priorities of the Societal Impact of Pain platform. 

Key findings from 2019 showed that while progress is being made across the region, there is still a substantial amount of work needed to ensure that every country has some form of national guideline and action plan for pain management in place and that it is being implemented. Findings also highlighted that key measures prioritised by the Societal Impact of Pain platform are still falling short, despite some progress being made in these areas. These measures include those which support pain as a quality indicator, enable the collection and use of data to support evolving research, support people living with pain to maintain workability, and routinely encourage pain management education for healthcare professionals and patients.

The survey from 2019 will be repeated in 2022. Watch this space for more information and updates over 2022 and beyond!  

WE CALL ON EUROPEAN GOVERNMENTS AND THE EU INSTITUTIONS TO

  1. Acknowledge that pain is an important factor limiting the quality of life and should be a top priority of the national health care system. 
  2. Activate patients, their family, relatives and care-givers through the availability of information and access to pain diagnosis and management. 
  3. Raise awareness of the medical, financial and social impact that pain and its management has on the patients, their families, care-givers, employers, and the healthcare system. 
  4. Raise awareness of the importance of prevention, diagnosis and management of pain amongst all healthcare professionals, notably through further education. 
  5. Strengthen pain research (basic science, clinical, epidemiological) as a priority in the EU framework programme and in equivalent research road maps at national and EU levels, addressing the societal impact of pain and the burden of chronic pain on the health, social, and employment sectors. 
  6. Establish an EU platform for the exchange, comparison and benchmarking of best practices between member states on pain management and its impact on society. 
  7. Use the EU platform to monitor trends in pain management, services and, outcomes and provide guidelines to harmonise effective levels of pain management to improve the quality of life of European citizens.

The 'Societal Impact of Pain' (SIP) platform is a multi-stakeholder partnership led by the European Pain Federation EFIC and Pain Alliance Europe (PAE), which aims to raise awareness of pain and change pain policies. The platform provides opportunities for discussion for health care professionals, pain advocacy groups, politicians, healthcare insurance providers, representatives of health authorities, regulators, and budget holders. The scientific framework of the SIP platform is under the responsibility of EFIC and the strategic direction of the project is defined by both partners. The pharmaceutical company Grünenthal GmbH is the main sponsor of the Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) platform.

  1. Societal Impact of Pain (SIP)
  2. SIP Platform
  3. Achievements
  4. Roadmap
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