Pain Education – SIP Joint Statement Implementation


  • Emma Briggs (European Pain Federation EFIC)
  • Gisèle Pickering (European Pain Federation EFIC, SIP France)
  • Roberta Metsola MEP (video message) (European Parliament)
  • Usman Khan (European Patients‘ Forum EPF)

ModeratorsMichael von Fisenne (Grünenthal), Sam Kynman (European Pain Federation EFIC)

Session Objective

Since the publication of the Joint Statement in 2019, SIP and its national Platforms have been actively seeking to raise awareness of and implement the Recommendations. In this session, speakers presented activities which have been launched in 2019 to address the Recommendations on pain education.

Policy Opportunities

The publication of the Joint Statement offers an opportunity for national SIP Platforms and other supporters to call for its implementation, both at European and national level. With an ageing population and a chronic pain prevalence of 1 in 5 people in Europe, healthcare professional training on pain management remains an urgent issue to address. The Joint Statement offers an opportunity for national SIP platforms to call on policy makers to improve national health workforce planning policies and encourage a coordinated approach to the exchange best practice, notably on how to foster knowledge on pain management targeting healthcare professionals, patients, and general public.


Pain education has two elements: 1. formal academic education and 2. awareness raising and wider stakeholder education (1).

Pain medicine is not taught as a dedicated unit in most European medical schools and there is a lack of awareness of the societal impact of pain in the broader community.

At national-level, SIP Portugal met in March 2019 to launch a Joint Declaration (2) on actions to be taken regarding employment and education. SIP France has also pledged to prioritise academic education to encourage more pain physicians in the future (3).

Alongside formal academic education, education of other stakeholders is of equal importance. Notable stakeholders include policymakers, patients, healthcare management, and employers/employment organisations and unions. There has been limited EU- or Member State-led activity in relation to specific pain-focused awareness raising activities. Most awareness raising activities have been conducted by civil society, aimed at the general public as well as to policymakers. These include the SIP Platform Annual Symposium and the European Parliament Brain, Mind, and Pain (BMP) Interest Group (4). Activities aimed at the wider general public include International Pain Awareness Month (5) and the Pain Toolkit (6).



You can find more materials from the SIP 2019 Symposium here: