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IMI-PainCare is an international public-private partnership project*, aiming at improving the care of patients suffering from acute or chronic pain. The project addresses three different topics: Patient reported outcome measures to improve management of acute and chronic pain (subproject PROMPT), Pharmacological validation of functional pain biomarkers in healthy subjects and animals (BioPain), and Improving translation in chronic pelvic pain (TRiPP).

After three years (total adjusted project duration is 5 years), the PainCare project (www.imi-paincare.eu) can show considerable progress.

In subproject PROMPT, more than 2,000 patients could be included in the prospective data collection. This data collection is expected to show which tools work best for assessing pain management after surgery. 19 hospitals across Europe collect data at 6 timepoints, providing first-hand information about how patients feel after surgery. In addition, a feasibility study about use of an activity tracker to correlate physical movement with pain has shown very promising results. Moreover, several systematic literature researches on post-op pain, pain chronification, chronic neuropathic and pelvic pain have been finished, first manuscripts are published. Thus, the overall goal to provide standardized consented patient-reported outcome measures to improve pain treatment gets closer.

PROMPT-Update: While data from the prospective studies are still being analyzed, the literature reviews about chronic neuropathic and pelvic pain have produced some interesting results:

In clinical trials on chronic neuropathic and pelvic pain, the patient’s perspective is often insufficiently reflected since most of them focus on pain intensity as primary outcome. In addition, the comparability of outcome assessment is limited due to heterogenous use of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs). Therefore, recommendations of a standardized set of core outcome domains and PROMs to be used in future chronic neuropathic and pelvic pain studies are urgently needed. As a first step systematic literature reviews (SLRs) were performed to identify PROMs that have been used in randomized controlled trials on chronic neuropathic pain and chronic pelvic pain. For chronic neuropathic pain, the 251 included studies used a large number of 200 different PROMs to assess the previously recommended IMMPACT/NeuPSIG domains: pain intensity, other aspects of pain, physical functioning, emotional functioning, global improvement and satisfaction, adverse events, participant disposition. The number of domains was higher in high/moderate compared to low quality studies. The (sub-) domains ‘physical functioning’, ‘global improvement and satisfaction’ and ‘neuropathic pain quality’ were assessed more frequently in high/moderate quality studies and those published more recently. Nevertheless, there was still a high heterogeneity in terms of the domains and PROMs even in good quality studies. Only 2.0% of all studies investigated all domains by use of at least one recommended PROM. Our results clearly illustrate the need for a definition of a standardized core set of outcome domains and PROMs.

Progress reports about subprojects BioPain and TRiPP will be published in the next newsletters.

*IMI-PainCare has received funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint undertaking under grant agreement No 777500. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and EFPIA.www.imi.europa.eu

The statements and opinions presented here reflect the author’s view and neither IMI nor the European Union, EFPIA, or any Associated Partners are responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.

EFIC actively participates in IMI PainCare and supports the project by giving scientific advice, fostering PR, and dissemination.