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Message from the Editors

Dr. Cathy Jeffery, Dr. Susan Tupper

Happy New Year! This newsletter provides some updates and new information and resources to share with you to kick off the new year.

Board Changes:

Ross McCreery has stepped down from the SaskPain board effective October 31, 2022. We would like to thank Ross for his amazing contributions as a SaskPain board member since 2018. Ross was instrumental in the development and incorporation of SaskPain. With his lived experience with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), Ross has had a major impact educating and supporting others with lived experience, and health care providers in the province. It was an honor to have benefited from Ross's passionate advocacy for the development and improvement of pain management resources in Saskatchewan. Ross's CRPS work will continue and we wish him well in his important work.

Andrew Hartman has joined the SaskPain board effective November 22, 2022. Andrew's lived experience and work in the area of resource development that has supported community members in health system navigation fits well with SaskPain's vision and mission. Andrew also has experience in program coordination in the education sector and grant writing which are important to the development of resources that will improve the lives of those living with pain in Saskatchewan. Welcome Andrew! We look forward to working with you.

If you are interested in finding out more about being a SaskPain Board member, please email SaskPain or view the SaskPain Board Member application at this link SaskPain Board Member Application

In this Newsletter:
  • SaskPain recognized as a collaborative partner with the newly formed Pain Canada.
    • Updates from the Pain Canada meeting in November 2022
  • Research participation opportunities.
  • Learning opportunities and conferences.
  • Resources for pain management.
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Pain Canada is the first multi-stakeholder national initiative where people who have lived experience with pain are at the center of decision-making and priority-setting. Resources will be mobilized to build capacity towards dramatically improved systems of care and support for people with pain.

SaskPain has been named a collaborative partner with the newly announced national organization, Pain Canada. Our Board Chair, Dr. Susan Tupper represents SaskPain on the Pain Canada National Advisory Committee.

Health Canada published a statement on opioids and pain management and the importance of careful de-prescribing and tapers to ensure adequate pain management and patient safety. See more information at this link: Health Canada Statement on Safe Opioid De-prescribing and Tapering

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published this article talking about the heightened risks for overdose and mental health crisis for 2 years after opioid tapering. See the article at this link: JAMA article

Health Canada's Substance Use and Addictions Program (SUAP) recently funded the work to revise the 2017 opioid guidelines for chronic pain - that work is underway.

Pain Canada received 5 years of funding for several different initiatives that will include support for provincial organizations like SaskPain, spreading Making Sense of Pain, making Pain Foundations provider education freely available across the country, supporting national Canadian Pain Society rounds, and continued support for the Putting the Pieces Together conference for people living with pain - see the Learning Opportunities and Conferences section below for links to find out more about these initiatives. See the news release at this link: News Release Pain Canada 5 Year Funding

Saskatchewan will benefit from being a partner with this new national action network that will work to advocate for country-wide standards, encourage pain-related research, promote equity, and influence policymakers.

For more information about the important work Pain Canada is leading check the website Pain Canada.
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Improving Pain in SK Research Project:

The Improving Pain in Saskatchewan (IPSK) Research team has been busy with knowledge mobilization. Find study updates on our website at: SaskPain Research

Achievements and Activities Update:
  • 152 interviews with people living with chronic pain and family caregivers, healthcare providers, health services decision makers, and community based organization representatives.
  • 61 recommended change strategies were identified, including service program elements (what programs or services needed to improve pain) and service delivery elements (how care can be delivered) Recommended Change Strategies
  • Yorkton area working group has held 23 online Partners in Pain education and support group sessions with 387 people attending live and over 670 video views on YouTube.
  • Saskatoon area working group is pleased to announce they received funding from the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF) and Saskatchewan Centre for Patient Oriented Research (SCPOR) to develop graphic medicine stories (educational comics) about pain-related stigma and patient-oriented solutions. This project was profiled in an article titled, "Supporting solutions to Saskatchewan's growing addictions problem" by Greg Basky for SHRF on March 30, 2022.
  • Regina area working group has been busy engaging stakeholders to prioritize and select change strategies for their Phase 2 activities. We'll have more updates in our fall newsletter about this exciting work.
  • Our team is busy mobilizing what we learned in the interviews with people living with pain. Two scientific posters were submitted to the Canadian Pain Society conference and we are preparing two manuscripts on the research. View the two scientific posters at these links: IPSK CPS 2022 Change Strategies Poster IPSK CPS 2022 Partners in Pain Results Poster
Want to keep up to date on our research?
Email selene.daniel.whyte@usask.ca to join the newsletter mailing list or follow on:

Facebook: Improving Pain in SK
Instagram: @ImprovingPainSK
Find links to favorite websites at: linktr.ee/improvingpainsk

Improving Pain In SK Newsletter Can Be Found Here

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Partners in Pain - The Online Sessions

This series of interactive workshop series has wrapped up, but you can still access recordings of the sessions.

Sessions consist of guest speakers who present on a variety of interesting topics related to pain management. In addition, a person with lived experience shares their story and strategies, and the session concludes with an activity that can range from an art project to the art of the practice of mindfulness techniques.

All of the session recordings can be found on SaskPain's website or at the YouTube link below: Partners in Pain Recordings

Topics of sessions in this series relating to pain include massage therapy, sleep, managing stress, biomedical dry needling, how culture shapes the world of pain, caregiver well-being, and nutrition.

Planning is underway to offer Partners in Pain 2.0 in the near future and to make this important series more accessible to even more people in Saskatchewan. Stay tuned!

If you would like more information please contact the Program Coordinator Selene Daniel-Whyte selene.daniel.whyte@usask.ca

This Phase of Partners in Pain was funded in part by a grant from the Community Initiatives Fund.

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Podcast & Audio Interviews

This series of "Your Partners in Pain" podcast has wrapped up. Thanks to the generous support of the Community Initiatives Fund for making this series possible. "Your Partners In Pain” is a resource and initiative that seeks to raise awareness, spread knowledge, and give individuals a platform to share their personal stories about living with pain. Users can download these 30-minute audio interviews to a personal device for easy listening, or stream the episodes online.

During this series, we have spoken to a number of pain advocates and researchers about topics like CRPS, living with pain as a pediatric patient, self advocacy, pelvic pain and endometriosis, holistic pain care, the pain cycle, and the activities associated with the IPSK project.

All 20 episodes can be found on our SaskPain YouTube, our Transistor account or anywhere podcasts are streamed (click on the blue button below).

SaskPain is always interested in speaking to Saskatchewan-based individuals about their lived experience of pain, professionals who are involved in pain research, or clinicians focusing on pain management. Please contact SaskPain if you are interested in sharing your experience.

We welcome feedback or suggestions on this endeavor, and any questions can be directed to SaskPain

Research and Improvement Opportunities - Info and How to Participate

Survey Opportunity for Older Adults Living with Chronic Pain Recruitment Poster

This survey is looking to learn more about well-being and chronic pain in adults aged 60 years and older. We hope to better understand the elevated well-being experienced by older adults despite their levels of chronic pain, the impact of certain coping factors, and if age of onset of chronic pain influences levels of well-being. As a participant in this study, you would be asked to complete a series of anonymous self-report questionnaires.

Your participation would involve 1 session of approximately 20 minutes. In appreciation for your time, you will be entered into a draw for a chance to win 1 of 5 Amazon gift cards of $50.
Follow this link to participate in the research study: Are You Living With Chronic Pain?

Resources for Pain Management - Local and National

In addition to resources and information that you can find on the SaskPain Website
our provincial and national partners also have excellent offerings:

Pain BC
Pain BC offers many resources for persons who have lived experience and health care providers. Check out their website for array of resources and information: Pain BC

Pain Society of Alberta
The Pain Society of Alberta (PSA) has recently updated their resources page.
Check it out here: PSA Resources

Canadian Pain Society
The Canadian Pain Society provides many resources. Check the website out here: Canadian Pain Society

Learning Opportunities and Conferences

Virtual Event on February 9, 2023 from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. - Access to Low Back Pain Care: The Saskatchewan Landscape
This event, supported by the U of S School of Rehabilitation Science, the Canadian Institute of Health Research, and the SK Centre for Patient-Oriented Research, will provide summaries of findings from people with chronic low back pain and health care providers. The event also includes optional registration to a World Café facilitated discussion, a collaborative and conversational process used to support knowledge exchange. Through small group discussions, participants will have the opportunity to provide their unique perspectives and expertise on specific topics as well as learn from other participants. The goal of this World Café is to generate ideas for actionable change on access to care for low back pain in the province and beyond.
Poster: Free Virtual Event Access to Low Back Pain Care in SK
Register here: Access to Low Back Pain Care in SK Virtual Event Register

Canadian Pain Society (CPS) Monthly National Pain Rounds
CPS National Pain Rounds are offered, free of charge, on the last Friday of each month (except December). The next session is being held on Friday January 27, 2023 via Zoom from noon - 1 p.m. Eastern Time. Visit the CPS website to register: Canadian Pain Society

Canadian Pain Society (CPS) Annual Scientific Meeting - Save the Date
The CPS has announced the Annual Scientific Meeting will be held at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel from May 10 - 12, 2023. Check out the 2023 ASM page here for more details: Canadian Pain Society ASM 2023

Pain Canada Hosted a National Event November 7 - 10, 2022
Pain Canada hosted an online conference called Putting the Pieces Together late last year. Over 500 people from across Canada registered for the event. You can view recorded sessions from the event here: Pain Canada Putting the Pieces Together

Dr. Andrea Furlan YouTube Videos for People with Lived Pain Experience

Dr. Andrea Furlan MD PhD is a rehabilitation physician and pain specialist in Toronto, Ontario. She has developed YouTube videos that address chronic pain conditions, treatment, and prevention. Her videos provide practical information for people with lived pain experience and health care providers who practice in the area of pain management. In addition to English, most of her videos have closed captions in other languages including Portuguese, Spanish, Hindi, French, Filipino, and Chinese.

Dr. Furlan continually adds new content to her YouTube channel: Dr Andrea Furlan YouTube Channel
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