Green Light for Field Testing of ICD-11 Chronic Pain Codes

Apr 17, 2017

The work of the IASP Task Force for the Classification of Chronic Pain has reached an important milestone. At the beginning of April, the WHO generated a version of ICD-11 for field testing that includes our chronic pain codes.

During the next few months, the WHO will run a field trial of all ICD-11 codes, and IASP is an essential part of this, having been granted the status of a test center for the chronic pain diagnoses. This is an exciting development since it acknowledges IASP’s position as the leading organization of pain specialists worldwide. The testing is important since its results will guide WHO’s decisions on the suggested diagnoses.

The task force is now seeking volunteers who are willing to participate in the field testing. The testing is online and will take individuals less than two hours. It includes an online training, which is accessible via the IASP website. The actual testing will use the common WHO tool, ICD-FiT. The WHO system is limited to health professionals and related persons by invitation only. If you are interested taking part in the testing, please register here, and we will contact you soon.

As part of the field testing you will receive search terms and brief case descriptions, and your task will be to find the appropriate codes in ICD-11 (and sometimes also in ICD-10). A pilot trial in Australia, Germany, Japan, and Norway last summer demonstrated that ICD-11 is much more intuitive for chronic pain diagnoses than ICD-10.

By participating in the field trials, you can make an important and lasting contribution to a better classification of chronic pain. The classification will improve diagnostic and treatment pathways for chronic pain patients in your country and worldwide.

Please consider distributing this information within your hospital or regional pain network. Demonstrating your commitment and showing that the pain community supports IASP’s push for a better representation of chronic pain in ICD is an important step in establishing the new diagnostic codes permanently.