Dear BC Pain Research Network members,
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Thank you for your participation.
Nonverbal Assessment of Pain
Workshop on Wednesday, Oct 24, Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies VIP room
Drs. Dan Weary and Ruth Grunau
Overview: Verbal self-report has historically been considered the gold standard of clinical assessments of pain, with some scholars suggesting that self-report is built in to the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) definition of pain. However, the IASP definition also notes that the “inability to communicate verbally does not negate the possibility that an individual is experiencing pain” and there are many populations who likely are experiencing pain but are unable to verbally report that pain.
Very young infants, patients experiencing advanced dementia or other cognitive impairments, and nonhuman animals all can be incapable of verbally reporting pain, and all are the subject of intense scientific debates regarding the best methods for assessing pain.
Researchers studying these different populations grapple with how to assess the presence and severity of pain, sometimes using similar assessment techniques (e.g. facial expressions, biomarkers, and caretaker assessments), but there has been limited interaction between the different groups of researchers.
This workshop would bring together scholars working on different non-verbal populations to share findings and approaches. Discussions will address the presence and severity of pain, how pain affects quality of life, and psychosocial factors associated with these outcomes. BC has considerable expertise in these fields, and the workshop would bring together these individuals with a few outside experts.
Objectives: The goals of this workshop are to: (1) Facilitate cross-pollination among different academic disciplines taking on the challenge of assessing pain in the absence of self-report (2) further establish British Columbia as a leader in addressing these question and in cross-disciplinary pain research and (3) facilitate collaboration that brings together expertise from the different approaches. Confirmed participants so far include: Rebeccah Slater and Fiona Moultrie (Oxford Neuroscience), David Edelman, Adam Shriver (Oxford Applied Ethics), Frank Symons (University of Minnesota), Dan Weary (UBC Animal Welfare), Ruth Grunau (UBC Medicine/ BC Children’s Hospital).
For more information about this workshop including how to register please RSVP to Dan Weary
Congratulations to Drs. Ken Craig
, Colleen Varcoe
, Sharalyn Jordan
, Cindy Holmes
, as well as our partners from Pain BC
: Maria Hudspith, Nicki Kahnamoui and Jen Hanson
on their successful SSHRC Partnership Engage grant titled “Socially marginalized populations: Adapting Pain BC's programs and services to meet community needs”. This project will build on their Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) Convening and Collaborating grant and research underway engaging people in marginalized conditions in small group dialogues to better understand unique features of their perspectives on pain and suffering, the impact of pain on their quality of life, and barriers to pain management. The research team will incorporate the generated knowledge into Pain BC’s organizational structure, resources and programs to better meet the needs identified by the communities.
Congratulations to Drs. Murat Aydede
and Adam Shriver
for their recent publication of a letter to the editor in the June issue of PAIN. Their letter which can be read here
argues for better formulation of the definition of “nociplastic pain”; a term recently added by IASP Taxonomy to be included as one of three mechanisms of pain.
Congratulations to Dr. Paul Yong
and Dr. Lori Brotto
for receiving Michael Smith Foundation for Health and Research (MSFHR) Reach Awards
. MSFHR's Reach Program is designed to facilitate the uptake of health research evidence to inform and/or improve further research, practice and policy-making.
Dr. Yong and his PhD student Natasha Orr's project involves disseminating research findings on the causes of sexual pain during a one-day workshop that will be created in collaboration with their Patient Research Advisory Board. "Endometriosis-associated sexual pain is multifactorial, and may result from endometriosis lesions, the pelvic floor musculature, depression, and/or central nervous system sensitization. Treatment efficacy may depend on the specific cause of pain. Our physicians may suggest treatment options that patients are not familiar with, so the goal of this workshop is to provide patients with a better understanding of individualized treatments for their sexual pain." Dr. Yong's project titled "Knowledge translation for a new understanding of sexual pain in endometriosis" will be hosted at UBC.
Dr. Brotto's project titled: "#LifeAndLoveWithHIV: A social media initiative to support the sexual health needs of women living with HIV" is being co-funded in partnership with the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and will be hosted at SFU.
Summary of BC Pain Research Network Activities
Seminars: We held a Network Meet and Greet seminar on August 29, and had the pleasure to hear from Dr. Helene Bertrand (A New Way to Diagnose and Treat Low Back Pain in Under Five Minutes with >70% Success: Chart Review.) and Dr. Bernie Garrett (Virtual Reality and Pain Research: A new frontier or smoke and mirrors?). We asked them to provide a short summary of their talks and have included them below:
Helene Bertrand M.D. Dr. Bertrand is a clinical instructor for the Department of Family Practice at UBC. Her research interests include Low back pain, painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy, and new ways to address neuropathic pain. She has developed a new method to diagnose and treat low back pain, which provides pain relief in less than five minutes to 80% of sufferers and allows them to use the specific exercises at home whenever their pain returns. A chart review of 180 cases shows that at least 50% of all low back pain comes from sprains of the SI (sacroiliac) joints. These can be diagnosed and treated by comparing the levels of the PSISs (posterior superior iliac spines) and doing the appropriate 2 minute exercises to correct their malalignment. 50% of those thus treated experience immediate complete pain relief. 28% have partial relief where the procedure needs to be repeated prior to complete relief.
Bernie Garrett Ph.D. RN. Dr. Garett is an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing at UBC. Virtual Reality as an Adjunctive Pain Management Strategy for Chronic Cancer Pain: recent research into the value of virtual reality (VR) as an adjunctive pain management therapy for chronic pain is showing some early promise. The initial results of an ongoing randomized clinical trial exploring the use of VR as a daily adjunctive pain reduction therapy for chronic cancer pain and previous work in this field by the researchers has highlighted benefits for some patients. A previous review of VR for pain therapy by the UBC research team (Garrett et al. 2014) found a growing body of work examining acute pain applications, but little work in the field of chronic pain. A further 2016 study into the use of VR for chronic pain found moderate evidence for the reduction of pain and functional impairment following VR therapy in chronic patients (Garrett, Taverner & McDade, 2017). The team’s current work consists of a larger scale randomized-controlled trial (N=100) is concluding, and preliminary results have continued to demonstrate the benefits of adjunctive VR therapy for chronic cancer pain. This highlights the early potential for targeted VR adjunctive therapies to help in the management of cancer pain in hospital, clinic and home settings.
Garrett B.M., Taverner T., Masinde W., Gromala D., Shaw D. Negraeff D. (2014) A Rapid Evidence Assessment of Immersive Virtual Reality as an Adjunct Therapy in Acute Pain Management in Practice. The Clinical Journal of Pain 30(12) 1089-98
BC Pain Research Network Trainee Meet and Greet Seminar was held on September 17, and we had the pleasure of hearing Desmond Fung, Michelle Thiessen, Ella Weik, Dr. Katelynn Boerner, and Dr. Angelia Henrique speak about their research projects. Their titles and summaries are below:
Title: Sensory blockade produced by the lidocaine derivative, QX-314.
Summary: Local anesthetics are among the best treatment options for pain control. However, an ideal local anesthetic that produces long-lasting sensory blockade after a single administration and possess a large therapeutic index, is still non-existent. One possible solution to achieve longer lasting local anesthesia may be to use the quaternary lidocaine derivative, QX-314.
Title: Cannabis and sensitivity to acute pain
Summary: Studies of experimentally-induced pain report an association between cannabis intoxication and increased sensitivity to pain. For my Master thesis I investigated, if this hyperalgesia is limited to the acute effects of cannabis use or occurring as a result of frequent cannabis use. For my PhD I will examine the mediating role that stress and expectancy effects on cannabis on analgesia/hyperalgesia.
Title: Placebo and Nocebo effects in Children
Summary: Conditioning is known to be one of the key mechanisms in placebo and nocebo effects in adults. However, the mechanisms underlying these responses in children, as well as the cognitive and neural correlates of how learning, expectations and executive function play an important role remain poorly understood. The presentation will focus on pilot data investigating the role of conditioning as well as executive functioning in modulating thermal sensations.
Title: Childbirth pain and relational autonomy: bioethical implications
Summary: The purpose of this study is to understand how women describe their experience concerning childbirth pain, their meaning of pain and to conduct ethics reflection on make-decision regarding how to manage their pain.
Title: Investigating the neural networks underlying pain processing and regulation
Summary: Understanding the brain networks involved in pain processing and regulation can have important implications for the treatment of chronic pain, informing both the development of behavioural therapy techniques and those based on neuromodulation. The Cognitive Neuroscience of Schizophrenia lab uses fMRI-CPCA to conduct whole-brain analyses of fMRI data, elucidating the most prominent brain networks evoked by established cognitive paradigms. This current project is investigating the networks underlying pain processing and regulation and has so far identified an important relationship between the Salience Network and the Default Network that is temporarily formed during pain regulation.
Meet and Greet Seminar Series on September 24. We had the pleasure of hearing from Dr. Katelynn Boerner (The influence of sex and gender on pain: A developmental perspective) and Les Moncrieff (Bio-Electrode Therapy for Complex Pain and Addictions).
Dr. Boerner received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Dalhousie University, where she conducted research at the IWK Centre for Pediatric Pain Research under the supervision of Dr. Christine Chambers. Her research and clinical interests are in understanding the biopsychosocial factors involved in the developmental trajectory of youth with chronic pain, with a particular interest in the impact of sex and gender. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at BC Children’s Hospital.
Summary: While sex differences are a commonly observed phenomenon in the adult pain literature, the research on when and why these differences emerge is mixed. This presentation will review Dr. Boerner’s program of research on the influence of sex and gender on the pediatric pain experience, considering the role of developmental and social factors.
Mr. Moncrieff has been employed as a health care professional for the Vancouver Coastal Health and Provincial Health Authority for the past 34 years. He has been a registered acupuncturist since 2000. His primary focus has the treatment of addiction and complex pain. Les has experienced great success and satisfaction in learning and integrating a wide variety of complementary medicine and alternative therapies such as hypnotherapy, energy psychology and various styles of acupuncture. Les was a National Acupuncture Detox Association trainer for a number of years.
Bio-Electrode Therapy: A therapeutic technique where electrically conductive metals (copper and aluminum) are used as acupuncture point stimulus on Jing-Well points. Les has developed a treatment method called Bio-Electrode therapy in which electrically conductive metals are used as an acupuncture point stimulus method. No needles or electrical devices are required. Based on his clinical experience combining the science of bio-electricity and electrophysiology with Chinese medicine theory, an innovative new therapy is now evolving. Bio-Electrode therapy is a highly effective approach for treating complex pain and various disease conditions. Results are generally immediate and dramatic. Les has been using Bio-Electrode therapy effectively for the treatment of drug addiction, primarily for opiate withdrawal and complex pain at the Onsite Detox program in the Downtown Eastside.
Workshops: The Interdisciplinary Pelvic and Vulvovaginal Pain Workshop was held Sept 20, at BC Children’s Hospital. Did you know that more than 100,000 women in BC suffer with pelvic and/or vulvovaginal pain? Inspiring discussions were shared with Dr. Candace Brown from University of Tennessee (developing a patient-reported outcome measure of vulvo-vaginal pain), Dr. Lori Brotto (Better Sex Through Mindfulness: How Women Can Cultivate Desire), Dr. Leslie Sadownik (Director of the BC Centre for Vulvar Health), and Dr. Paul Yong (Research Director at the BC Women's Centre for Pelvic Pain & Endometriosis) around how best to move research forward and improve care for these women through coordination of healthcare services.
Pain Community Research Priorities| CIHR IMHA Webinar with Dr. Christine Chambers on Oct 3 at 9:00 am PST.
This is your opportunity to contribute to the CIHR Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis (IMHA) priorities for 2019-2022! Please join one of a series of Webinars being hosted by the Scientific Director of IMHA, Professor Karim Khan, and leaders of the IMHA research community. More details here.
Pain Research in the Okanagan: Join us for a Meet & Greet (Oct 4th). On behalf of the BC Pain Research Network, we would like to invite you to a community Meet-and-Greet Event on Thursday October 4th (4:00pm-5:30pm) at Moxie’s restaurant in Kelowna. Light refreshments will be served.
The goal of this event is to facilitate connections and collaborations among those who are: (a) currently doing research on pain and pain-related topics, (b) interested in getting involved with pain research, and/or (c) interested in learning about ongoing pain research in the Okanagan Valley.
Space is limited - please RSVP to Susan (email@example.com
) by Wednesday September 26th. Please also share with anyone you think would be interested. All are welcome and encouraged to attend!
We hope to see you there! Regards,
Dr. Ken Craig (University of British Columbia Vancouver Campus)
Dr. Susan Holtzman (University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus)
Thomas Hadjistavropoulos Colloquium:
The UBC Research Excellence Clusters BC Pain Research Network
and Re-Imagine Aging
are delighted to co-host Prof. Thomas Hadjistavropoulos
, Research Chair in Aging and Health and Registered Doctoral Psychologist at the University of Regina. He will be giving a colloquium titled "Pain Assessment in Older Persons with Dementia
" On Oct. 19 from 12:00-1:30 pm
in the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health Rudy North Lecture Theatre (Lower Level 101).
The Colloquium will be followed by a RECEPTION for members, trainees of the BC Pain Research Network, Re-Imagine Aging, and guests.
The reception will be held from 1:30 – 3:30 pm upstairs in Room 3402A/B/C of the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health. Please RSVP for the reception to Stacey Herzer at Stacey.firstname.lastname@example.org.
BC Pain Research Day: Please save the date: we will hold this event Monday, October 22 in the Jack Poole Hall of the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre. The objective will be to showcase lab group and trainee research for both members of BCPRN and broader community interested in pain and pain management. Given that IASP has agreed to focus on pain education in 2018 and its importance to both pain research and practice, we are delighted to announce the keynote speaker: Dr. Debra Gordon from University of Washington, who recently authored an article titled “Perspective: Update on Pain Education” published in PAIN.
We will begin the day with a poster session
showcasing the current pain research of our members. If you would like to present a poster, please email Stacey Herzer
with your poster title and a brief description/ abstract as soon as you are able. We hope to showcase 20-30 posters. Other highlights of the day include updates on the state of pain research in BC, and a presentation of the current Provincial Pain Strategy. We will publicize this event broadly including through our website and communications with registered members of BC PRN, and other listserves, and through organizations interested in pain research and challenges in pain management. We welcome investigators with all levels of experience, particularly trainees including RAs, postdocs, and undergraduate students, and people living with pain.
As featured above, the workshop on Nonverbal Assessment of Pain
will be held October 24
at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies. Please note that the Hadjistavropoulos Colloquium
on Oct 19 kicks off this workshop, so please save the dates for these lively discussions! You can also check the events calendar
for updates. As well, the Pain Science and Pain Ethics: Exploring the Intersection
workshop is open to everyone and will be held on November 9
at UBC Robson Theater. Please email Murat
- The purpose of this current funding opportunity is to strengthen the evidence base and expand cannabis research in these identified areas, to build research capacity and/or to inform the development of future larger scale research projects.
- Supports cannabis and pain management: Research into the potential therapeutic use of cannabis (recreational or prescribed) for pain management.
- $125,000 for up to 1 year
- Registration deadline: September 18, 2018
- Application Deadline: October 10, 2018
- This Funding Opportunity is expected to: Strengthen and expand the evidence base needed to inform current and future policies, practices and programs related to PTSI in PSP; and Improve the mental wellness and resilience of Canada’s PSP through innovative research.
- $150,000 for up to 1 year
- Application Deadline: September 25, 2018
- Develop relevant research capacity leading up to future TiC funding opportunities;
- Inform actionable health system changes within the TiC Focus Areas by supporting systematic identification and collating of transitions in care knowledge gaps and/or identification of effective evidence-based interventions and/or policies;
- Facilitate the identification of relevant transitions in care stakeholders and partnerships, with a particular focus on partnerships that can support community-based research and approaches that have potential for equitable spread and scale between communities, at a regional and/or national level.
- $100,000 for up to one (1) year
- Application deadline: October 10, 2018
- Insight Grants support long-term research initiatives in the social sciences and humanities. Funding is available to emerging and established scholars for projects conducted by an individual researcher or team of researchers.
- $7,000 to $400,000 over 2 to 5 years (max $100,000/year.)
- Application deadline: October 15, 2018
- A unique opportunity to submit short videos (recommended maximum length of 5 minutes) sharing evidence-based messages in the area of maternal, reproductive, child and youth health. This competition encourages the production of videos that present a clear evidence-based message to a lay audience that is designed to have a positive impact on the health of children, youth and families.
- $3,000 to the first place prize; $1,000 to the runner-up prize; $750 each to two specially commended prizes.
- Submission due October 16, 2018
- $7,000 to $25,000 for events, and up to $50,000 for other outreach activities; higher amounts for outreach activities may be considered if well justified
- Application Deadlines (4 cycles/year): Nov 1, 2018
- Connection Grants support workshops, colloquiums, conferences, forums, summer institutes, or other events or outreach activities that facilitate:
- disciplinary and/or interdisciplinary exchanges in the humanities and social sciences;
- scholarly exchanges between those working in the social sciences and humanities and those working in other research fields;
- intersectoral exchanges between academic researchers in the humanities and social sciences and researchers and practitioners from the public, private and/or not-for-profit sectors; and/or
- international research collaboration and scholarly exchanges with researchers, students and non-academic partners from other countries.
- The GGI program is specifically designed to promote and enhance Canada’s international innovation efforts. The program supports researchers who aim to commercialize technology by pursuing collaborative international research and development (R&D) opportunities through partnerships with key players in foreign markets. Eligible beneficiaries are Canadian innovators from small or medium size enterprises, universities and nongovernment research centres.
- GGI provides assistance by contributing up to 75% of eligible expenses, up to a maximum of $75,000 for any approved project. Eligible expenses may include international and local travel, accommodation, meals, meeting costs, legal fees to support formalized partnerships, and other costs related to international collaboration.
- Application Deadline: Continuous.
Other Canadian Funding competitions:
- Targeted at catalyzing research initiatives at UBC. Funding is to be used strategically by recipients to attract further opportunities for cluster development
- $100,000 to 200,000 for 1 year
- NOI due Sep 17 full application due Nov 12, 2018
- For innovative proposals (clinical or basic) that will lead to improvements in the prevention, diagnosis or therapy of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Preference is given to proposals for work conducted with human samples or patients. Research using non-human material should lead to translational benefits to patients with IBD.
- There is no fixed upper or lower limit of funding, but applicants should keep in mind that BMRP-CCFA has limited funds. Funding can be requested for up to two years, but grants generally are funded only one year at a time.
- LOI is accepted all year round.
- As part of the HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) Initiative, NIH will support research on how chronic pain develops and on new treatments to alleviate chronic pain. HEAL will develop a data sharing collaborative, new biomarkers for pain, and a clinical trials network for testing new pain therapies
- Notices of Intent to Publish FOAs for a Clinical Trials Network on Pain Research
- Acute to Chronic Pain Signatures (A2CPS) program to investigate the biological characteristics underlying the transition from acute to chronic pain.
- Funding Opportunity Announcements for researchers to apply to participate in the A2CPS program are now available.
- For more information, please contact Rachel Britt, PhD, 301-435-0968, email@example.com.
- Letter of Intent (LOI) Due Date: Sep 24, 2018
- Application Due Date: October 24, 2018
- Priority area research applications are reviewed along with the general pool of grant applications, with priority given to strong grants in the designated areas: Opioids and Suicide; and Pain and Suicide. Distinguished Investigator Innovation Grants and Young Investigator Innovation Grants are also available.
- $100,000 USD over 2 years.
- Application due November 15, 2018
- Cycle I: September 5, 2018
- Cycle II: January 5, 2019
- Cycle III: April 5, 2019
- Seeks small business organizations to develop opioid and adjuvant drug combinations within a single dosage form for treatment of a pain condition.
- Supports early phase clinical trials of mind and body approaches for conditions that have been identified by NCCAM as high priority research topics.
- Cycle III due date: September 25, 2018
- Seeks to address two specific mechanistic pathways via which psychosocial stress may modulate opioid use trajectories.
- The first pathway is through its effects on cognitive and affective systems that are also altered in OUDs.
- Second related pathway is substantial co-morbidity between OUD and stress-related affective disorders, including depression, anxiety and PTSD.
- Cycle III due date: September 25, 2018
PA-18-376, PA-14-474, PA-14-384: Self-Management for Health in Chronic Conditions (R01, R15, R21)
- Cycle III due date: September 25, 2018
PPA-15-141, PA-15-142, PA-15-143: International Research Collaborations on Drug Abuse and Addiction Research (R03, R01, R21)
- Cycle III due date: September 25, 2018
- Supports innovative research that will elucidate the mechanisms underlying migraine; expand our current knowledge of the role of genetic, physiological, biopsychosocial, and environmental influences in migraine susceptibility and progression; and explore new therapeutic targets and therapies for acute migraine management and longer-term prevention.
- Cycle III due date: September 25, 2018
- Promotes preclinical, translational, clinical and epidemiological research in pain medications use in children or in pregnant women to fill knowledge gaps in safe use of the pain medications in these special populations
- Develops effective instruments or approaches to assess and evaluate maternal and child outcomes of pain medication treatments
- Budgets are not limited but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project
- Maximum of 5 years
- Cycle III due date: September 25, 2018
- encourages epidemiological, clinical and translational research that will increase our understanding of the natural history, prevalence, biological mechanisms, psychological variables, and clinical risk factors responsible for the presence of multiple chronic pain conditions in people with pain.
- Cycle III due date: 5 Oct 201
- Invites innovative research to characterize the consequences of psychosocial stress on affective/cognitive functioning and/or pain processing as it relates to opioid use disorder (OUD).
- Encourages research that elucidates mechanisms of action and determinants of vulnerability and/or resilience by which psychosocial stress influence OUD trajectories. Research using basic or clinical approaches is appropriate.
- Cycle III: due date October 16, 2018
- Purpose is to promote the discovery of strong candidate biomarkers and endpoints for pain that can be used to facilitate the development of non-opioid pain therapeutics from discovery through Phase II clinical trials. Specifically, the focus of this FOA is on the identification and initial biological, analytical and clinical validation of pain biomarkers, biomarker signatures, and/or endpoints. Although research supported by this FOA can include animal studies, it must also include preliminary human validation using carefully standardized human samples or human clinical studies. The goal of this initiative is to deliver candidate biomarkers, biomarker signatures, and/or endpoints that are ready for advanced clinical and analytical validation research.
- Letter of Intent due October 27, 2018
- Application due date: Cycle I Nov 27, 2018
- Cycle II March 7, 2019
- Cycle III November 25, 2019
- Enourages research that investigates the role of epigenetic or non-coding RNA regulatory pathways in the development, maintenance, or treatment of chronic pain. Ultimately research in the area will provide foundational knowledge that can be exploited to develop novel and non-addictive pain medications or to develop biomarkers that predict chronic pain progression or treatment response.
- Application due date: Nov 13, 2018
- The Rita Allen Foundation (RAF) and American Pain Society (APS) announce the 2019 Award in Pain. The RAF and APS may award two grants in the amount of $50,000 annually, for a period of up to three years to those research proposals demonstrating the greatest merit and potential for success.
- Application due date: Dec 17, 2018
- OnPAR is a Private Business Venture that partners with international agencies to provide ‘second-chance’ funding opportunities to high-scoring applications in biomedical fields. Several pharmaceuticals and biotech companies and other private biomedical agencies have joined OnPAR.
- See the full list of partners here. OnPAR accepts abstracts from CIHR.
- See the current list of Funding Members to get an idea of what they might be looking for. OnPAR is working to add additional Members.
- There is no need to re-write your grant proposal. Once you submit your abstract and peer review scores, all abstracts are available for Funding Members to review. Applications and Summary Statement submission is by invitation only. OnPAR will accept the original abstract and the summary statement or review evaluations that you received from NIH or the reviewing organization.
- Proposals that meet the criteria are accepted: 30th percentile for major disease areas, (i.e., Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Diabetes); 50th percentile for rare disease areas; promising non-percentiled)
- OnPar has now expanded to include pain research projects.