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About the Network

BC Pain Research Network is an interdisciplinary community of scientists, clinicians, scholars, and community partners who share a commitment to advancing understanding of pain and developing strategic interventions, care systems and policies through collaborative innovation.

The Grand Challenge:

About 20% of the population at large suffers from persistent or recurrent pain with enormous personal, social, community and societal costs. Acute pain associated with injuries, diseases, and medical procedures is often inadequately controlled; and in up to 5% of the population transitions into chronic pain. Pain is also the primary reason why people seek healthcare. It is often poorly assessed, underestimated and inappropriately or inadequately treated. Failing to prevent or adequately care for people suffering from pain leads to increased demands on the already strained medical services system. Combined with limited health care and related social system resources for those experiencing pain, this has undoubtedly contributed to many current societal challenges, including the escalating burden of medical costs, the grim overdose crisis, long wait times for surgery, and increasing automobile insurance costs. The direct and indirect costs of pain in Canada are estimated at $60 billion annually—more than cancer, heart disease and HIV combined. In British Columbia, an estimated 1,000,000 residents suffer from chronic pain. Our primary community partner, Pain BC, is heavily focused upon providing for the needs of people living with chronic pain. BC Pain Research Network strives to provide the high quality research needed to support understanding, treatment innovation, policy, and organizational development; leading to population level improved health outcomes with considerable socioeconomic impact.

Development of the BC Pain Research Network:

Two major initiatives led to the development of the BC Pain Research Network: 1) In February 2017, following the second Provincial Pain Summit, as one of its working groups dedicated to continuing the efforts from the Summit, Pain BC developed the “Beyond the Summit Research Working Group,” with the goal of facilitating interdisciplinary pain research and knowledge translation. Pain BC contacted research oriented organizations seeking to build a network of academic, clinical and community researchers  2) Throughout the fall of 2017, UBC pain researchers in collaboration with Pain BC sought financial support for the development of a BC Pain Research Network. Initial funding to support the development of the Network was provided through a UBC Vice-president Research and Innovation Grant for Catalyzing Research Clusters and a Canadian Institutes for Health Research Institute for Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis Planning and Dissemination grant. Management of these grants is provided through a UBC Steering Committee.

Our mission is to bring together diverse and interdisciplinary research teams to:

  • Gain a better understanding of pain in all of its forms.
  • Facilitate community partner access to all forms of pain research and to be responsive to patient and community needs.
  • Discover effective management strategies that draw upon the experience of the full range of healers; including physicians, nurses, paramedical practitioners, pharmacists, psychologists, social workers, physical therapists, to name a few.
  • Analyze the evidence of new and existing management strategies to provide evidence-based and evidence-informed interventions.
  • Promote education leading to broad uptake of evidence-based and evidence-informed interventions.
  • Encourage equitable access to these interventions to help improve the health and quality of life for all Canadians.


Founding Partners