Canadian Pain Task Force Meeting: March 22, 2019
- Clarify Task Force objectives, member expectations, and Terms of Reference;
- Clarify objectives, expectations, and composition of External Advisory Panel;
- Confirm approach and key questions to be addressed at the first meeting of the Task Force and External Advisory Panel in April; and,
- Confirm approach and key questions to be addressed in the first report on the current state of chronic pain in Canada.
Participants: Fiona Campbell, Maria Hudspith, Melissa Anderson, Jacques Laliberté, Jaris Swidrovich, Linda Wilhelm
Regrets: Manon Choinière, Hani El-Gabalawy
Secretariat: Andrea Currie, Andrew Taylor, Megan Wyszynski, Gisèle Jean
Government of Canada Observers: Pamela Ponic (Public Health Agency of Canada), Michelle Peel (Canadian Institutes of Health Research)
Opening remarks: Eric Costen, Health Canada
Eric Costen, Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Controlled Substances and Cannabis Branch, provided opening remarks, welcoming Task Force members and highlighting the important role that external advisory bodies play in helping governments to work through complex and challenging policy problems.
Andrea Currie, Director, Canadian Pain Task Force Secretariat, provided an overview of the meeting objectives and further reinforced the role of the Secretariat as liaisons across government departments both inside and outside of the health portfolio.
Overview of Context and Purpose of the Task Force
Andrea Currie presented on the impetus for creating the Task Force, their mandate and key themes of inquiry, and the communications process involved in the launch of the Task Force. Key points of discussion initiated by members included:
- Reviewing gaps in data and surveillance on the prevalence, impacts, and costs of chronic pain in Canada and evaluating interventions and policies focused on chronic pain;
- Exploring disparities in services that exist across Canada and the impact these disparities have on individuals, families, and communities;
- Having an inclusive definition of pain and recognizing the importance of treating acute pain for preventing chronic pain; and,
- Focusing on the full spectrum of pain management – prevention, assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and management.
Clarifying Objectives, Members Expectations, and Terms of Reference
In reviewing Task Force objectives, expectations, and Terms of Reference, Task Force members discussed:
- Communication around the Task Force and its activities;
- Taking a broad and inclusive definition of evidence that respects various forms of knowledge including Indigenous ways of knowing;
- Exploring interdisciplinary education and building awareness around pain;
- Including a focus on equity and the social determinants of health;
- Considering forms of treatment beyond the prescription of pharmaceuticals, acknowledging the full range of treatment, taking a bio-psycho-social / integrative approach, and valuing psychological and physical interventions;
- Including the voices of people affected by chronic pain and ensuring the work of the Task Force positively impacts patients and their caregivers and families; and,
- Acknowledging chronic pain as a disease in its own right.
External Advisory Panel
Task Force members discussed the role of the External Advisory Panel and reviewed potential Panel candidates. Members considered diversity and representation across geographic, social, cultural, and disciplinary dimensions, identified and made recommendations to address gaps, and requested additional details regarding candidates.
- Secretariat to send out a revised list of Panel candidates for Task Force member review and input as well as additional recommendations to fill gaps;
- Secretariat to follow-up on public communications processes and messaging; and,
- The next scheduled meeting of the Task Force and Panel will occur in early May 2019 and will focus on the approach, messages, and content for the Task Force’s Phase 1 report.
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