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Council Task Force

Definition of Pain Task Force


[Term 2018-2022]

Chair: Srinivasa Raja, USA
Dan Carr, USA
Milton Cohen, Australia
Nanna Finnerup, Denmark
Herta Flor, Germany
Stephen Gibson, Australia
Francis Keefe, USA
Jeff Mogil, Canada
Matthias Ringkamp, USA
Kathleen Sluka, USA
Xue Jun Song, China
Bonnie Stevens, Canada
Mark D. Sullivan, USA
Takahiro Ushida, Japan

  • In 2018 IASP formed a 14-member, multinational Presidential Task Force, composed of individuals with broad expertise in clinical and basic science related to pain, to evaluate the current definition and accompanying note and recommend whether they should be retained or changed. This review provides a synopsis of the critical concepts, the analysis of comments from the IASP membership and public, and the committee’s final recommendations for revisions to the definition and notes, which were discussed over a two year period.
  • The task force ultimately recommended that the definition of pain be revised to “An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with, or resembling that associated with, actual or potential tissue damage,” and that the accompanying notes be updated to a bulleted list that included the etymology.
  • The revised definition and notes were unanimously accepted by the IASP Council in early 2020 and published in the September 2020 edition of PAIN.
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