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Researchers want to hear from public on chronic pain issues

By Jeff Green | April 15, 2010

It is a persistent problem that comes with a hefty price tag.

Chronic pain affects close to one in five people in this province costing an estimated $1.5 billion a year – more than heart disease, cancer and AIDS combined.

It affects the young and old, healthy and sick. And, with no known cure, it knows no boundaries.

Two researchers from the School of Nursing want to hear exactly what is needed to address chronic pain in this province.

Drs. Sandra LeFort and Shirley Solberg are leading an interactive discussion on the matter on Sunday, April 25, from 2-4 p.m., at the Fluvarium in St. John’s.

The talk – titled Chronic pain: tell us what you need – is part of the Café Scientifique program funded nationally by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research which aims to bring university research into the wider community.

The pair is hoping a broad cross-selection of people interested in chronic pain will take part in the free discussion to help identify ways to deal with chronic pain in the community. They’re inviting everybody – from those with chronic pain, their families, clinicians, health administrators, and policy makers – to attend.

“This café will be different because it isn’t a traditional talk, rather it will be a conversation among the people who come to the café and with us as researchers,” said Dr. LeFort, a professor of Nursing.

“We hope that by working together, we will be able to identify the services, resources, and education needed at the community level for people with chronic pain and their families.”

Both researchers have been examining issues related to chronic pain for years and are currently leading one part of a five-year $2.5 million project to address the issues of chronic pain management.

Dr. Solberg said the goal of the April 25 café is to gather input, feedback and ideas related to that management and how to improve the lives of people with chronic pain.

She is encouraging people to attend to learn from other participants and help contribute to a better understanding of what is needed in this province.

“We know quite a lot about chronic pain but want to work with those affected or in contact with those with chronic pain to identify where information needs to be shared and what approaches to take to deal with the problem,” said Dr. Solberg, associate director of Graduate Programs and Research and professor of Nursing.

Admission is free for the discussion but seating will be limited. The talk will be hosted by Dr. Ray Gosine, Memorial’s vice-president (research) pro tempore.

All are welcome to attend and refreshments will be served.

For more information, call Jeff Green at 737-4073.


April 25, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
IIC-2014, Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation
April 25, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
IIC-2014, Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation
April 25, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Student Lounge,Marine Institute, Ridge Road campus
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