Canadian Pain Task Force

The Government of Canada recognizes the impacts and challenges faced by Canadians who live with chronic pain. Approximately one in five Canadians live with chronic pain and this can have significant impacts on an individual's physical and mental health, often preventing them from undertaking everyday activities. People with chronic pain face challenges related to stigma and access to evidence-based health services to treat and manage their pain. With this in mind, Health Canada has established the Canadian Pain Task Force. The Task Force will provide advice to Health Canada regarding evidence and best practices for the prevention and management of chronic pain. 

Reports and publications

2021 – March

In March 2021, the Task Force submitted their third and final report to Health Canada, titled An Action Plan for Pain in Canada . This report provides recommendations on priority actions that ensure people with pain are recognized and supported and that pain is understood, prevented, and effectively treated throughout Canada. The report also provides direction for supporting future change to better meet the needs of people living with chronic pain. As with other complex and large-scale public health challenges, addressing chronic pain will require multiple and diverse approaches to change. Health Canada will continue to work with partners to explore how best to move recommendations into action. 

2020 - October

In October 2020, the Task Force submitted their second report to Health Canada summarizing what they heard from an extensive series of in-person, written, and online consultations about the gaps and challenges, best and promising practices, and elements of an improved approach to preventing and managing chronic pain. Entitled Working Together to Better Understand, Prevent, and Manage Chronic Pain: What We Heard, the report reflects the evidence, ideas, experiences, and practices that we heard from the nearly two-thousand people who participated across Canada.

Additional analyses are available upon request, including those related to the online consultation, rapid reviews on guidance for managing mental health, substance use, and chronic pain and the prevention of chronic pain, and a technical report summarizing the analyses on the economic costs of chronic pain. For more information please contact the Task Force Secretariat at hc.cptfsecretariatsecretariatgtcsld.sc@canada.ca.

2019 - June

In June 2019, the Task Force submitted their first report to Health Canada on the state of chronic pain - Chronic Pain in Canada: Laying a Foundation for Action. The report highlighted gaps in access to timely and appropriate multi-modal care, chronic pain surveillance and health system quality monitoring, education, training and awareness for individuals and health care providers, and research and related infrastructure.

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