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Global Alliance of Partners for Pain Advocacy (GAPPA) is creating partnerships between people with lived experience of pain, patient advocates, researchers, and clinicians around the world, to advance the study, understanding, and treatment of pain.

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Mission and Vision

Together we help those living with pain not just live but live well.

GAPPA’s vision is to work together to improve the lives of people affected by pain through effective and equitable integration of the lived pain experience into all aspects of pain research, management, education, and advocacy, across the world, for all people.

Its mission is to bring together patient advocates, patient organizations, scientists, clinicians, healthcare providers, and policymakers to create better outcomes in the awareness, understanding, research, teaching, assessment, and management of pain throughout the world.

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My Letter to Pain Campaign 

The Global Alliance of Partners for Pain Advocacy (GAPPA) invites those living with pain and the family and friends of those living with pain to participate in the My Letter to Pain campaign. This campaign, supported by Novartis, aims to highlight and increase understanding of the different experiences of pain, told from the lived experience of pain perspective, through an online survey and story submission.

Those living with pain often report a disconnect while explaining their experience to physicians; this campaign will assist physicians in utilizing their patients’ words to understand their pain, how it impacts their lives, and how they respond to treatment. GAPPA hopes the campaign and stories will:

  • Create educational information to help those living with pain.
  • Provide individuals the opportunity to tell their stories and express their feelings freely and openly.
  • Lead to greater communication between individuals and groups across the pain community.
  • Identify directions for future programming and communication efforts.

Each submission remains anonymous unless the submitter chooses to share their details or present.
This campaign aims to bridge the gap between the lived experience of pain and pain research by inviting those with the lived experience to answer a two-part questionnaire.

To Participate: 

  • Submit a demographic survey 
  • Submit an optional lived experience story from either personal experience or family/caregiving experience. Stories may include:
    • Pain management experiences 
    • Self-management levels 
    • Successes and failures in treatment  
    • Resources required 
    • Cultural and geographical background 
    • Social support

GAPPA will review the letters to look for common themes that can help identify major barriers and factors that can help identify future education gaps and necessary programming. Survey answers will help determine some clear factors affecting those with the lived experience of pain and how they view what is missing in terms of care.

A selection of stories will be chosen to appear on the GAPPA website and social media. Any story published will be anonymous unless you choose otherwise.  

Participating in the My Letter to Pain campaign will assist in furthering pain research to help advance and create better outcomes, leading to greater communication between individuals and groups across the pain community and generate educational information to help those with the lived experience of pain. If you know someone that might be interested in participating in the My Letter to Pain, please feel free to forward the campaign to them.  

Novartis has not requested and will not receive any submitters' personal information. support is provided for this GAPPA project to help GAPPA further identify barriers to care. 

If you have any questions, please email gappa@iasp-pain.org 


GAPPA’s expertise makes them exceptional collaborators on many research projects that align with their values and aims. One of GAPPA’s main goals is facilitating connections between researchers and those living with pain.

GAPPA has already established meaningful partnerships with researchers in the United States, Canada, and New Zealand focused on patient-centered outcomes in everything from opioid tapering through storytelling to exploring the crossroads between sociology and chronic pain. If you are interested in collaborating with GAPPA on a research project, please contact us.


Patients as Partners in Research

IASP Member
The Amsterdam Principles

GAPPA’s Amsterdam Principles, the result of many meetings, discussions, and email exchanges, guide the organization forward and include overarching, governance, leadership, membership, and voting principles.

The following principles have been agreed by the GAPPA Task Force, and are proposed to IASP Council towards the establishment of GAPPA as a foundation related to IASP.

Together, they are termed “The Amsterdam Principles”.

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UPLiFT Conference

 GAPPA's UPLiFT Conference will connect people across disciplines and pain conditions to further the equitable integration of the lived experience of pain into all aspects of pain research, education, advocacy, and treatment.


Browse a list of resources relevant to people living with chronic conditions that cause pain.

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Become a member of GAPPA

Your experience matters. Join GAPPA today!

By becoming a member of GAPPA, you can take charge of your health and make your voice heard.