A generous donation to the University of Sydney will enable research that could result in drug discovery, digital interventions and support for people with chronic pain – Australia’s third most costly health condition.
Some of the nation’s leading pain experts are set to embark on research they believe will change the way chronic pain is managed.
The program of research will be carried out by the team from the Pain Management Research Institute after generous funding from the Ernest Heine Family Foundation.
Institute director Professor Paul Glare said more than $2,820,000 would go towards three projects over the next three years through the “Pathways to better pain management” program.
“Chronic pain affects 20 percent of the population and one third of people over 65,” he said.
“It is the major cause of disability, costing the Australian economy an estimated $73 billion a year.
“There is a pressing need to develop better management strategies, so we will be launching three research initiatives, which together have the best chance of improving the lives of those living with chronic pain.”
The projects include:
- Research led by Dr Karin Aubrey and Professor Chris Vaughan which aims to uncover new biological mechanisms which produce and maintain chronic pain. This will help to develop safer and more effective medications for chronic pain.
- Research led by Professor Paul Glare and Dr Claire Ashton-James to develop digital behavioural interventions to help patients alter their attitudes and behaviour in response to pain, and lower the use of potentially harmful opioid medications.
- Research led by Associate Professor Paul Wrigley to provide better support to people with chronic pain in the community, reducing their need for Emergency Department care.
Associate Professor Paul Wrigley said his project ED PainPATH represented a unique opportunity to raise awareness of the needs of people with chronic pain and improve access to essential support.
“With the help of a large hospital and community team from across NSW, a care pathway for people with chronic pain is being assessed,” he said.