On Friday 11 June 2021, Painaustralia CEO Carol Bennett participated in the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) Virtual World Congress on Pain in a session on national pain strategies. Carol’s topic was the ‘Australian National Pain Strategy: a 10-year challenge’ and you can find her presentation for the event here.
The session convenor was Dr Sean Mackey from the US who provided an overview of the US National Pain Strategy and its history. Sean highlighted the evolution of the Institute of Medicine and initial costing analysis demonstrating that chronic pain is a $635 billion cost to the US economy and affects one third of the population. The strategic themes of the US Strategy include treatment, prevention, research and education – all with actionable smart goals and all involving collaboration to arrive at the highest priority actions.
Perhaps most interesting were the insights Sean provided around the lessons learned from the process.
Dr Mary Cardosa from Malaysia spoke about the pain free initiative being rolled out in Malaysian hospitals. The initiative stemmed from the evolution of the identification of ‘pain as the 5th vital sign’ to ‘making pain everyone’s responsibility’ and far more visible. The approach involved an important shift in attitude from an absolute to a level of comfort which was more realistic. Diverse pain champions across all disciplines were engaged to support the initiative based on the concept that it provides ‘something for everyone’.
Painaustralia thanks IASP for supporting this important global conversation.