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Monday, April 22, 2013

Opening Remarks

Dr. Story Landis, Director, NINDS opened the meeting

News: Common Fund Pragmatic Pain Trials

Dr. Josie Briggs (Director, NCCAM) and Dr. Partap Khalsa (NCCAM) reported information on the Health Care Systems Research Collaboratory.  The goal of this program is to strengthen the national capacity to implement cost-effective large-scale research studies that engage health care delivery organizations as research partners.  As such, an initiative was created to fund pragmatic clinical trials demonstration projects. These are large trials that involve multiple health care facilities.  These projects will help leverage the use of electronic health records. Additionally, crosstalk between the various projects could yield a valuable set of common best practices.  Of the seven phased project awards, two of them are focused on pain. View summaries of the two pain trials. (PDF, 91 KB)

Update: Low Back Pain Task Force

Dr. Khalsa provided an update on the Research Task Force on Research Standards for Chronic Low Back Pain. 

Chronic Low Back Pain (cLBP) is an enormous health and societal problem, and while the costs and utilizations of all current treatments are increasing, there are only modest clinical benefits.  The research task force, chaired by Dr. Rick Deyo (Oregon Health & Science University) & Dr. Sam Dworkin (University of Washington) consisted of 16 invited scientific/clinical experts on cLBP research and Pain Consortium steering committee members. The task force convened three face-to-face meetings over one year.  The key recommendation was for NIH to lead a process to develop research standards for all clinical research on cLBP. These standards would include a definition of chronic LBP, sub-classification of cLBP by impact & prognosis and a minimum dataset (concept framework based on NINDS Common Data Elements).  The minimum dataset would include demographics, physical examination and behavioral, psychological and psychosocial domains.   A draft of these research standards was developed following a comprehensive review of existing case definitions, diagnostic criteria and outcome measures.  The broader research community will  be engaged to contribute to the development of these research standards and chart a general plan for their incorporation into research studies and their future modification.

Update: Centers of Excellence on Pain Education (CoEPEs)

Dr. Dave Thomas (NIDA) provided an update on the CoEPEs.  Dr. Thomas stated that progress in developing the case studies is moving along well and that next steps will include beginning the first round of  case reviews by Pain Consortium members.  Several dissemination efforts are underway including a recent TED talk where Dr. Thomas presented on the CoEPEs.  A link to the TED talk will be posted on the Pain Consortium website once available.  Dr. Dave Thomas will moderate a session titled: “Improving Pain Education in Medical, Pharmacy, Nursing, and Dental Schools in the United States,” at the 2013 American Pain Society Annual Scientific Meeting, May 9th, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  In addition, he will serve as discussant at the Pain Education Special Interest Group session at the same meeting.

News:  Chronic Pain Nature Supplement available in print and online

Dr. Linda Porter (NINDS) provided hard copies of the Pain Consortium-sponsored Nature Collections Journal on Chronic Pain.  Hard copies of this publication, which includes a set of recent, high profile pain research articles will be disseminated at upcoming events including the Annual Pain Consortium Symposium and the American Pain Society meeting.  An online version of the journal is available for 6 months.

Update: NIH Pain Consortium Symposium 2013

Dr. Linda Porter (NINDS) reminded members about the upcoming annual symposium scheduled for May 29-30th at the Natcher Auditorium (NIH campus). View the meeting registration site and agenda.

Update: IPRCC activities

Dr. Porter provided an update on the Interagency for Pain Research Coordinating Committee.  To date, the IPRCC has begun to address 3 of the 5 charges to the committee.  To address the charge of developing a summary of advances in pain care, a set of federally-supported research publications in pain care research were selected by the IPRCC committee.  Summaries of these advances are being prepared and posted periodically on the IPRCC website.  View the first set of advances. The IPRCC portfolio analysis of pain research is underway to identify critical gaps in basic and clinical research on the symptoms and causes of pain.  The portfolio analysis also will be used to determine whether there is unnecessary duplication of effort among the NIH and other Federal agencies.  The IPRCC recently, was tasked with developing a strategy to address recommendation 2.2 from the 2011 IOM Report “Relieving Pain in America."  Recommendation 2.2 is to create a comprehensive population health level strategy for pain prevention, treatment, management, and research that includes specific goals, actions, time frames, and resources.  The IPRCC has begun this process by developing an oversight working group and 5 sub-working groups: Professional Education & Training; Public Education and Communication; Population Research; Public Health: Prevention, Care & Disparities; and Public Health: Services & Reimbursement. Members of these working groups were selected from IPRCC member nominations and the Federal Register Notice released in March 2013.

Update: Pain Consortium and Stanford Pain Registry

Dr. Richard Denisco (NIDA) provided an update for the pain registry. This will be an open source centralized registry for tracking self-reported outcomes of chronic pain sufferers over time.  The registry data will be free and accessible to investigators for outcomes research, comparative effectiveness research, and point-of-care decision making. 

Important Dates for 2013

NIH Pain Consortium Symposium May 29, 30, 2013 Natcher Auditorium

Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee, June 3, 2013 Bldg 31 C Room 10