Joop Van Griensven
Pain Alliance Europe President
Working together with members and stakeholders to help improve the quality of life of people living with chronic pain, Pain Alliance Europe (PAE) focuses on those areas where a European approach gives the best results for every chronic pain patient.
Things won’t change only by telling stories about the worst situations chronic pain patients experience. These stories need to be accompanied by trustworthy data, which clearly shows where the problems are.
To obtain patient representative data, PAE conducts annual surveys on various aspects related to chronic pain. The 2019 edition of our survey focuses on patients’ experience with chronic pain and stigma. The survey is available in 16 different languages thanks to the cooperation of our members, which ensures the very important participation from the patient community and a pan-European representation.
Using data from across Europe to find treatments
PAE uses the obtained data in its European advocacy work addressing politicians and healthcare professionals. Our members use the national data of the results for their national advocacy work. PAE’s previous surveys revealed data on ‘diagnose and treatment’ and on ‘work and income’. Reports can be found on PAE’s website.
Provide suggestions for improvement
Identifying the problems and finding the right persons to address them, is not the full answer. We also try to provide possible solutions that work successfully in real-life circumstances.
PAE participates in the Societal Impact of Pain – a multi-stakeholder platform where various stakeholders share information on all areas of chronic pain.
We co-run the European Parliament’s Interest Group on Brain, Mind and Pain (BMP), which allows us to focus on those areas where the EU Parliament can have an influence, like work and income, awareness and research.
Patients collaborate to find solutions for their pain
Last but not least, the Brain, Mind, and Pain Patient-Centred Innovation Grant is one of our main projects empowering the patients. This grant is developed by patients, run by patients and aimed to the patients. It is set up to provide patients the possibility to undertake a project to improve the situation for the patients. A new call for projects will open on July 1st2019, and we are eager to select new initiatives aimed at improving patients’ lives. More information can be found on the BMP Grant’s website.
Chronic pain can affect anyone
Chronic pain is like a silent enemy. It just exists everywhere and does not exclude anyone. In most cases, it is a question of time, as the elderly face increased chances to develop chronic pain with every year that passes. It doesn’t make a difference if you are rich or poor, man or woman. Your education level, sexual preferences or political preferences cannot influence your chances of becoming a chronic pain patient. No discrimination, whatsoever. There are no borders to chronic pain.
However, we strive to solve the issues that separate common interests and actions, and to bring together the knowledge and experience of all stakeholders for a stronger influence in reducing the impact chronic pain has on present and future generations of patients.
Pain Alliance Europe (PAE) is a pan-European association of 41 national or regional patient associations from 18 different European countries representing over 350,000 individual chronic pain patients.
To find out more, visit: www.pae-eu.eu/surveys