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Message from the Editors

Dr. Cathy Jeffery, Dr. Susan Tupper

Happy Summer and welcome to the June 2024 SaskPain newsletter! Newsletters are scheduled to be delivered in October, December, March and June and provide information and updates about SaskPain activities and resources for chronic pain management locally, provincially, and nationally.

Board Changes

We welcome two new members to the SaskPain Board effective June 2024

K. Tanya Llewellyn, CPA is an Investment Professional with National Bank Financial. Previous roles have included Vice President Accounting and Reporting, Vice President Finance and Accounting, and Director Financial Performance with Affinity Credit Union and Treasurer of Saskatoon Credit Union, amongst others. Her thirty year career in Financial Services has encompassed treasury, regulatory and financial reporting, subsidiary strategy and management, profit optimization and application programming. Tanya holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Finance and Human Resources from the U of S. She is a Fellow of the Credit Union Institute of Canada and Chartered Professional Accountant.

Corwyn Shomachuk, BSc BA (Honours) Engineer in Training has lived with chronic pain perpetuated by central sensitization since 2019. However, he also is a civil engineering graduate student at the University of Saskatchewan College of Engineering, a level one kayak instructor, and a dance instructor. Having an invisible disability requires some level of lifestyle adjustments and a holistic three-part treatment plan incorporating the three M's of chronic pain management: Mind, Movement, and Medication. Corwyn is an advocate for medical research focused on neurological mechanisms underpinning chronic pain; the mind plays a critical role in the development and maintenance of chronic pain, and together, we can find the underlying cases of chronic pain and subsequently create new beneficial management practices for chronic pain to ultimately improve patients' quality of life.

Welcome Tanya and Corwyn to the SaskPain Board. We are excited to work with you!

Interested in Joining our Board?
If you are interested in finding out more about being a SaskPain Board member and have experience and skills particularly in the areas of business development, fundraising, legal, or social media please email SaskPain or view the SaskPain Board Member application at this link SaskPain Board Member Application.

Also In this Newsletter
  • SaskPain Board Planning Session and AGM
  • SaskPain is a collaborative partner with Pain Canada
  • Research updates
  • Research participation opportunities - local and national
  • Resources for pain management
  • Learning opportunities and conferences

SaskPain Board Member Planning Session and AGM

On May 11, 2024 SaskPain Board members gathered in Saskatoon for a face to face planning session and AGM. The purpose of the planning session was to develop an action plan, informed by the Board's strategic direction work to date.
During the facilitated planning session, group discussion and assessment of work that could be reasonably accomplished over the next two years resulted in the development of an action plan framework. Four areas of focus were identified:
  • Resources and capacity
  • Raising visibility and collaboration
  • Supporting people living with pain
  • Education.
Actions related to the four focus areas are now being fleshed out with timelines and deliverables. Stay tuned for more details as we move this important work forward in the coming months.
You can check the SaskPain website SaskPain website and the next newsletter scheduled for October 2024 for more information including opportunities for you to benefit and/or get involved.
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Have you checked out the Pain Canada website?

The Pain Canada website has lots of excellent information to explore Pain Canada

Find out more about what is being done across Canada to meet the recommendations of the Action Plan for Pain in Canada by selecting the Action Plan button on the Pain Canada website Pain Canada.

The Resources tab includes lists of resources for people living with pain, resources for healthcare professionals, and awareness and advocacy campaigns across Canada. Check this link for a list of resources including free online courses: Pain Canada Resources

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). Check this page on the CPS website to find out more about content and dates and to register: CPS Pain Rounds

Research and Improvement Opportunities - How to Participate and Updates

The national Chronic Pain Network is one of five networks funded through a Knowledge Mobilization and Implementation Science Grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Strategy for Patient-oriented Research (SPOR). SaskPain is a partner on this project and is collaborating with other national stakeholders to mobilize knowledge to people living with pain and healthcare providers in order to remove barriers to pain management. Review the following research opportunities:
Participants being recruited for Children's Fear of Needle Pain Resource
University of Guelph researchers, Dr. Meghan McMurty, Associate Professor Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology and PhD candidate Hiba Nauman are working on a project to evaluate a free, evidence-based e-resource for parents to learn how to manage their children's needle pain and fear.
The purpose of the study is to evaluate a free “e-resource” that consists of:
  • A children’s book for kids to learn about needles, why they are important, and what coping strategies can be used
  • A caregiver resource with evidence-informed tools and strategies for parents to independently manage their child’s needle-related pain and fear.
There are two phases to this research: 1) to further develop and modify the e-resource based on stakeholder feedback , and2) an evaluation of the e-resource. 
We are currently recruiting children with needle fear and their parents for Phase 2 to review the e-resource and complete brief questionnaires with their feedback. All participants will receive honoraria for participating.
See if you and your child are eligible to participate here: Fear of Needle Pain Research
Please email us at pphc.res@uoguelph.ca if you would like further information or if you have any questions.

Research opportunity for people with Fibromyalgia
Dr. Andrea Furlan, a physician from University Health Network, and PhD graduate student, Lillian Saberian, are surveying people diagnosed with fibromyalgia to assess their knowledge about fibromyalgia, coping strategies, and quality of life.
The survey will take approximately 25 minutes, and participation is entirely voluntary. The survey is created on an online platform called REDCap with closed-ended questions, and the following information will be collected and analyzed:
  • Participant demographic information included (i.e. gender, age, ethnicity, education, employment, marital status, etc.)
  • The number of years of diagnosis with FM and history with other diagnoses (i.e. depression, sleep disorder, etc.)
  • Optional questions, including first name and email address (Meaning you do not need to provide this information if you do not want to)
  • Questions about FM's impact on your daily function, self-care, mobility, daily activities, pain/discomfort, and anxiety/depression
  • Questions on your knowledge of FM, including general knowledge about FM, treatment, physical activity, and energy
  • Questions measuring the strategies used for coping with pain (i.e. distraction, ignoring pain sensations, praying, thinking about what will happen, distancing from pain, and self-coping statements)
Information learned from this study may help provide guidance to patients suffering from chronic fibromyalgia symptoms in the future. Who can participate in the survey?
· People diagnosed with fibromyalgia by a physician
· Aged 18 years or older
· Can read and write in English
· Live in Canada
If you are interested, please follow this link to the Consent Form and Survey:
Fibromyalgia Survey

Recruiting participants for their Perspectives on Opioid Tapering with Chronic Non-cancer Pain
This qualitative study is being undertaken by Dr. Ligia Cordovani, Dr. Andrea Darzi and Dr. Jason Busse, researchers at McMaster University.
Eligible participants are:
  • adults 18 years of age or older, who live with chronic non-cancer pain (lasting longer than 3 months),
  • are English-speaking and are able to provide informed consent,
  • and who have tapered, are currently tapering, or planning on tapering opioid medications according to self-report.
To learn more, interested participants can send their name and contact information to torabiak@mcmaster.ca. Or you can phone (647) 972-8011 to learn more.

Are you a youth or do you know a youth experiencing chronic pain? This study is designed to understand Youth's Perspectives on Coping with Chronic Pain
This study is being conducted by researchers Natisha Nabbijon PhD Candidate and Dr. Meghan McMurtry, Associate Professor Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology from the University of Guelph. The goal of this important research is to further understanding of the perspectives and experiences of adolescents ages 14-18 years old coping with chronic pain.
The researchers are recruiting adolescents with chronic pain for two studies (questionnaire study and interview study). Participants may consider participating in one or both studies.
  • Questionnaire study: This study consists of an online questionnaire that takes about 20 minutes to complete and involves reading stories depicting common challenges faced by adolescents with chronic pain and responding to questions about how you would cope in these situations. Participants will also be asked to respond to demographic questions and questions about their pain condition. Responses are anonymous and participants can withdraw from the survey at any point. If you have any questions, email Natisha at anabbijo@uoguelph.ca To participate, click the following link: Adolescent chronic pain coping study online questionnaire
  • Interview Study: The study takes about 60-75 minutes to complete and involves participating in an online questionnaire and interview via Zoom. The online questionnaire will involve demographic questions and questions about youth’s pain condition. The interview will involve questions about participants’ understanding of the word “coping”, experiences coping with chronic pain, and perspectives on how sociocultural factors (e.g., gender, culture, socioeconomic status) influence coping and should be considered by healthcare providers. To learn more or sign up, please contact Natisha at anabbijo@uoguelph.ca
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The Improving Pain in Saskatchewan (IPSK) Research team is focusing on knowledge mobilization. Find study updates on our website at: SaskPain Research
Saskatoon area working group - Narrative (story-based) interviews were conducted with people living with pain and healthcare providers. Data analysis of these interviews was completed and story boards were developed depicting common elements from the interviews. Three educational, comic-style graphic medicine stories were designed and illustrated with Arcana Creative. Feedback on the stories was collected from people living with pain, healthcare providers, and healthcare educators. Final revisions of the stories will be made in the new year as we wrap up this research.
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Regina area working group - continues knowledge mobilization activities related to their pediatric chronic pain work.
For further information about pediatric chronic pain please contact Dr. Karen Juckes at karen.juckes@usask.ca

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

Resources for Pain Management - Local and National

Active Living With Pain - NEW Resource

Active Living for Pain is a new resource for people living with pain who are looking for information on how to become and stay physically active. Our research team led by Dr. Nancy Gyurcsik and Dr. Susan Tupper is working with people who live with pain and community-based exercise instructors to co-design a physical activity program for people who have moderate to high impact pain. Follow us on social media and visit our website to follow our progress and learn about Active Living for Pain.
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Partners in Pain - The Online Sessions

You can still access recordings of the sessions that featured guest speakers who presented on a variety of interesting topics related to pain management. Topics of sessions in the 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.

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

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

Although this series has wrapped up, you can still download the 30-minute audio interviews to a personal device for easy listening, or stream the episodes online."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.
Topics covered during this series included 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
Thanks to the generous support of the Community Initiatives Fund for making this series possible.

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 or have suggestions or feedback on this endeavor.

And there's still more...

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

Power Over Pain Portal
The Power Over Pain Portal is the result of a coast-to-coast Canadian collaboration of people living with pain, clinicians, researchers, and representatives of community organizations with the common goal of improving access to chronic pain care in Canada. Power Over Pain is a direct response to Health Canada's Action Plan for Pain in Canada. The goal is to provide access to free resources in a one-stop shop. Resources include articles, videos, podcasts, courses, workshops, and peer support. You can also access 24/7 one-on-one counselling, offered through Wellness Together Canada. Access the website here: Power Over Pain You will see there are resources for both adults and youth.

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

Chronic Pain Centre of Excellence for Canadian Veterans
The Chronic Pain Centre of Excellence for Canadian Veterans is a research centre focusing on improving the well-being of Veterans with chronic pain.
Check the website out for information and resources: Chronic Pain Centre of Excellence for Canadian Veterans

People in Pain Network
People in Pain Network is a non-profit organization that promotes well-being for people living in persistent pain and those who care about them, by strengthening self-management programs, access to resources, and community support. Check out the Resources button on the website: People in Pain Network

Learning Opportunities and Conferences

Pain Society of Alberta (PSA)18th Annual Conference
The PSA Annual Conference will be held in Banff, AB October 18 - 19, 2024. Pre-conference workshops on the topics of interventional pain treatments and migraine are offered on October 17, 2024.
This important annual conference focuses on pain diagnosis, treatment, and management best-practices. Registration for early bird rates is available until June 30, 2024. Check this link for more information about the conference agenda, speakers, and registration: Pain Alberta 2024 Annual Conference

Canadian Pain Society (CPS) Annual Scientific Meeting 2024
The CPS 2024 Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) was held in Ottawa from April 27 - 30. A special feature of the 2024 ASM is that it was co-organized between CPS and Health Canada. Check out the CPS ASM page here for more details: Canadian Pain Society ASM

Pain Canada Annual Putting the Pieces Together Conference
Pain Canada hosted a national online conference, organized for and by people living with pain, in November 2023. The 2023 conference was attended by over 700 people from across Canada! Click on this link to check for updates on the 2024 conference or to watch recordings of the sessions that were offered at the 2023 conference: 2023 Putting the Pieces Together Sessions
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