An effort to create the largest global digital community of people with chronic pain has been launched. The National Pain Foundation (NPF) is being reformed as an independent organization to transform the way pain is fundamentally understood, assessed and treated.
“We decided to resurrect The National Pain Foundation because of the continuing and unmet need for more patient input into how pain is diagnosed and treated,” said Daniel Bennett, MD, an interventional spine and pain surgical physician who heads the Integrative Treatment Centers for pain management in Denver, Colorado.
“We plan to be a true advocate for the people by developing a comprehensive observational database of people with chronic pain, their behaviors, their treatments and needs,” added Bennett, who is a founder and past chairman of The National Pain Foundation.
The goal of NPF, which expects funding from foundations, industry and individuals, is to create what it calls “digital footprint of pain” that does six things:
- Bring about a true understanding of what pain is and whom it affects
- Enable researchers to advance pain treatments across socioeconomic and ethnic differences
- Develop true best practices for healthcare providers to deliver better care
- Uncover reasons for increased vulnerability to pain that considers income, education, gender, race and other factors
- Educate the public and bring about better understanding of people with pain
- Provide intelligence to the healthcare industry on what products and treatment people in pain want and need
“It is staggering when you think that 1.5 billion people are affected by chronic pain globally,” said Bennett. “The need for input directly from the people, their families and others about how we as the medical profession can best meet their needs is glaring.”
In the United States alone, chronic pain is a major health issue. It affects 100 million American adults, more than the total affected by heart disease, cancer and diabetes combined. It costs up to $635 billion to treat chronic pain in the U.S.
“It is not news that technology has changed the world. But it’s time we started to use technology to create this global community of patients and listen to them with the goal of helping them combat chronic pain,” Bennett added.
In a related announcement, the National Pain Foundation said will be a global sponsor of the National Pain Report, one of the largest online news organizations specifically for people who suffer in pain. The partnership reflects the organizations’ shared values in helping transform the way pain is fundamentally understood, assessed and treated.
The National Pain Report has a growing audience of people in pain, thanks to its daily reporting of issues that are important to people in pain and their families.
“Our ability to attract a sizeable audience to our website and Facebook page in the last two years underscores that people in pain are looking for information and inspiration.” said Pat Anson, Editor of the National Pain Report.
“The pain industry has been dominated for too long by pharmaceutical companies, physicians, government regulators and law enforcement agencies. Many people in pain feel they don’t have a seat at the table when it comes setting policies and practices that directly affect them. Our goal is to change that,” Anson stated.