Patient Voices Heard for the First Time at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Canadian Pain Society

Jun 12, 2017

Some of the biggest names in pain research from across the globe gathered in Halifax last month for the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Canadian Pain Society (CPS). The event, which attracted more than 400 delegates, marked the first time the meeting was a “Patients Included” meeting, committed to incorporating the experience of patients as experts in living with their condition. This meant that patients participated in organizing the meeting and attended and spoke at the meeting.

"We are absolutely delighted to have achieved ‘Patients Included’ status for the first time in the history of our meeting,” said Dr. Fiona Campbell, the CPS president-elect. “It is a critical time in Canada for patients suffering with pain and imperative that patients help shape the national pain agenda and the future of the society." 

The meeting tackled a range of cutting-edge topics in pain research and practice, including brain circuits mediating pain and its relief, medical use of cannabis for pain, pain in special populations (children, patients with cancer), and the opioid crisis.

Keynote speakers included Dr. Yves De Koninck (recipient of the 2017 CPS Distinguished Career Award), professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at Laval University; Dr. Frank Porreca, professor of pharmacology at the University of Arizona; Dr. Rohini Kuner, professor of pharmacology at the Institute of Pharmacology, Heidelberg University; Dr. Gary MacFarlane, professor of epidemiology and deputy director of the Institute of Applied Health Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Scotland; and Dr. Melanie Noel (recipient of the 2017 CPS Early Career Award), assistant professor of psychology, University of Calgary.

“As experts in living with our chronic pain conditions, being patient partners gives us the opportunity to collaborate with researchers and physicians to find better treatment options for this complex health issue affecting one in five Canadians,” said Karen Smith, a patient advocate who helped the meeting’s organizing committee.