Bloomberg Nursing professors poised to improve care for chronic pain

8 April 2016

In 2011, the Canadian government identified a need to develop a strategy to deliver high-quality care by providing patients, health professionals and policy makers with the best available evidence to make decisions about health care. Canada’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) is a result of that planning, and is a watershed moment in health research in Canada. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research earmarked $50.8 million dollars to the initiative, with the majority of the funding going toward funding five networks of researchers in non-communicable chronic diseases over five years.

Bloomberg Nursing Professor Bonnie Stevens, Associate Professor (Status) Jennifer Stinson and Professor Emeritus Judy Watt-Watson are part of the Chronic Pain Network, hosted at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON. The Chronic Pain Network will enable Canada’s chronic pain patients to work with researchers, their health care professionals and educators to increase access to the best possible care for those suffering with chronic pain, and even more importantly, speed the introduction of research evidence into clinical practice.

“Receiving funding for this network is ground-breaking for pain researchers and those suffering from chronic pain in Canada,” says Bonnie Stevens, a Principal Investigator with the network. “Canada is widely seen as a leader in chronic pain research, but the field has historically received a very small proportion of available research funds.” Non-communicable chronic diseases, such as chronic pain, are estimated to cause 36 million deaths worldwide each year, according to the World Health Organization. In Canada, three out of five people over twenty live with one or more chronic diseases.

Jennifer Stinson, also a Principal Investigator, is excited by what SPOR funding will mean to patients. “Working with the Chronic Pain Network at McMaster will allow pain researchers to take what has been learned over the past decade about chronic pain, and ensure that these lessons are translated into clinical practice. Knowing our work will improve patient care for countless Canadians is every researcher’s dream.”

“I’m looking forward to working with the rest of the Chronic Pain Network,” adds co-investigator Judy Watt-Watson. “In addition to improving patient care for those with chronic pain, the unique mentorship and training opportunities the network will ensure the longevity and impact of this knowledge long after the five year term of the project.”

“I can’t imagine a better team of researchers and professionals,” says Professor Linda Johnston, dean at Bloomberg Nursing. “Our researchers are dedicated to innovative collaborations and life-changing research in everything they do, and I am proud of the work these three have done, and will continue to do, under the auspices of SPOR funding for the Chronic Pain Network.”

The Chronic Pain Network has received $12.45 million in funding for a five year term.