Germany Chapter Spotlight
About the German Pain Society:
The German Pain Society (Deutsche Schmerzgesellschaft e.V.) celebrates interdisciplinarity at every level, with members from diverse professional groups – including medical doctors, psychologists, physiotherapists, and nursing specialists – serving on our Board of Directors (Präsidium); Council (Beirat), committees, task forces, and working groups; and Special Interest Groups (SIGs). We live this interdisciplinarity in our Congresses as well, by encouraging submissions from multidisciplinary speaker groups to ensure an enormous breadth of educational and growth opportunities.
Our advocacy efforts at the Federal level have helped us place the issue of adequate pain management on the political agenda: The 88th Conference of Health Ministers of the Federal and State Governments in Germany (GMK) passed a resolution, pre-advised by the German Pain Society, to request that the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) develop quality criteria for structured acute pain management in hospitals. In December 2020, recommendations for quality management in the field of acute pain were also implemented in the official German Quality Management Guidelines.
We regularly engage in dialogues such as Parliamentary Hearings, and we organize a nation-wide annual “Action Day on Pain” with more than 300 participating hospitals and practices, during which time we provide several thousand patients with tips via a hotline and often result in broad media coverage to further spread awareness.
Identifying gaps in pain research is another priority, leading us to publish the Research Agenda – a 100-page document summarizing state-of-the art and open issues in pain research and its translation into practice.
Acting on this agenda:
- PAIN 2020, a 7 million Euro project funded by the German Ministry of Health's Innovation Fonds, was acquired by Deutsche Schmerzgesellschaft e.V. in 2018
- We were awarded funding for an equally large project, POET-PAIN in 2019, which aims to reduce chronic postoperative pain.
- A third project, PAIN 2.0, was successfully granted by the Innovation Fonds and will study the effectiveness of therapeutic elements for multimodal pain management.
It is rather unique (at least in Germany) that a scientific society applies successfully as coordinator of public-funded research, and we will carefully consider further funding possibilities.
The German Pain Society has a long tradition of offering a pain school to young researchers, encouraging young and experienced researchers to discuss, exchange ideas, and develop plans. We offer yearly prizes for excellent work and in 2019-2020 established a group of young pain specialists, researchers, and caregivers as part of our society.
Of course, the pandemic slowed us down in 2020, but we held a virtual conference in October and have begun transforming some of our Pain Academy courses to virtual offerings.
Above all, Deutsche Schmerzgesellschaft e.V. seeks to listen to the needs and wishes of the members who form the foundation of our society.
Find out more!