Platform 1: Quebec Pain Registry and Clinical Research Infrastructure

Investigators: Manon Choinière & Mark Ware

Administrator: Nicolas Beaudet (nicolas.beaudet@qprn.ca)

Background:

Quebec Pain Registry

The human and economic costs of chronic pain are enormous, but comprehensive and reliable data are not available for Québec.

Despite decades of research, patients with chronic pain continue to be inappropriately treated, with a large number of patients going from doctor to doctor or moving outside mainstream medicine in their desperation for pain relief. Typically, world-wide, a certain proportion of the chronic pain population is managed through specialised multidisciplinary pain clinics. However, access to these clinics is often restricted due their limited number and excessively long waiting lists.

In 2005-2006, studies by QPRN investigators had shown that the Province of Québec was no exception to the general situation.

That is, Québec was under-resourced for the management of chronic pain patients both in terms of access to, and quality of care. Another important barrier to adequate pain management was the lack of widely-accepted, evidence-based standards of care for chronic pain. One contributing reason for this situation was that studies were based on small sample sizes and used different outcome domains and measurement tools.
Meaningful comparisons of the existing study results were difficult, if not impossible.

Results:

The implementation of the Quebec Pain Registry, together with the Clinical Research Infrastructure, has stimulated new collaborations among our researchers and with our industrial partners.

It provides industry and investigators in Quebec the capacity to develop, implement and complete clinical studies in chronic pain in a timely and efficient manner. Measurable outcomes include:

 

  • the number of new clinical studies initiated, completed, and published;
  • funding received;
  • knowledge transfer activities (including media, posters, community outreach) and
  • clinical research staffing at participating pain clinics.

 

Such a systematic approach to research allow the QPRN to realize its goal of evaluating and establishing evidence-based, personalized and clinically meaningful approaches to the management of chronic pain. It also increases our critical mass by:

  1. attracting other researchers with different clinical research expertise on chronic pain,
  2. drawing experts from other disciplines, and
  3. training a new generation of leading edge clinical pain researchers.

Most importantly, this initiative has a major impact on the health and quality of life of chronic pain patients. It accelerates translation of research results to clinical practice and provides evidence-based standards of care for chronic pain patients along with better, more cost-effective ways to deliver this care.

The overall benefit is expected to be a significant reduction of the human and socioeconomic burden of chronic pain.