Active Citizenship Network has launched the project ”EU Civic Prize on Chronic Pain - Collecting good practices”. The aim is to give evidence of existing good practices in European countries in terms of struggle against pain.

The establishment of a “European Civic Prize on Chronic Pain”, based on the selection of the practices presented by different healthcare stakeholders (patients’ associations, health professionals, private and public hospitals, universities, etc.) provides an occasion for demonstrating what this community can offer in terms of good practices and experiences which are useful in raising awareness about the condition, enhancing the body of knowledge of positive cases and success, and strengthening commitment to this topic.

This initiative allowed us to collect 30 Good Practices received from 11 different countries: Malta 2; UK 6; Spain 8; Portugal 2; Ireland 1; Italy 6; Germany 1; Denmark 1; Finland 1; Netherlands 1; Russia 1. All the received Good Practices has been collected and published within this final Report.
This will start the creation of a network of best practice practitioners, able to provide information, advice and practical help to each other.

On February 28 2017 a jury composed by international experts in chronic pain (from universities, healthcare professionals and providers’ organizations, civic and patients’ associations etc..) has selected the 4 winners of the prize, one for each category: innovation, clinical practice, patients empowerment, professional education.

The Award Ceremony has been celebrated during the SIP - Societal Impact of Pain Symposium 2017, that has been held in Malta on 8-9 June 2017, during the Maltese Presidency of European Union. It represented the recognition of ongoing excellence at the presence of the President of Malta H.E. Marie-Luise Coleiro Preca.

We like to think that this will be the first in a series of prizes – maybe every two years – awarded to celebrate progress in the treatment and manage of chronic pain.

The winners received an expenses-paid visit to another winner, and a publication in English on the Health Management Journal.

Now, take a look at the winning projects.

1. The ‘Clinical Practices’ award was taken by the Department of Physical Education and Sport, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Granada in Spain. The project, named, "Physical activity in women with fibromyalgia: the al-Ándalus project"aimed to determine the role of physical activity on the development and treatment of fibromyalgia in female patients. The project is handled by a multidisciplinary team composed by sport scientists, rheumatologists, psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and biologists. A total of 646 patients with fibromyalgia and 314 non-fibromyalgia individuals participated in the project.

Beverly Collett, President of the Jury Panel described the initiative as an “excellent well- organised collaborative project” that “incorporated sites outside of the traditional health care settings, such as private gyms and swimming pools and investigated a condition that is often neglected by health care professionals”

See the video presentation of this Good Practice N. 3

2. The Alleanza Cefalalgici Cluster-European Headache Alliance in Italy took the prize for Patients’ Empowerment with its work on cluster headache (CH) patients.

A list of seven recommendations or “7 Commandments” devised by Expert Patients (EP) for physicians engaged in the cluster headache management with the purpose of improving their ability to take care of the condition. These commandments were used as a guide to propose pragmatic, patient-centered changes in health care services dedicated to CH patients.

“This work showed great innovation in gathering together expert patients in four countries across Europe to assist healthcare practitioners in the management of Cluster Headaches” Collett said. “It is a very well thought out submission on an uncommon, but important, painful condition. It is good to see everyone working together to highlight this condition, which if recognised should improve the management of patients with this condition and improve their quality of life”.

See the video presentation of this Good Practice N. 21

3. Collett described the winning project of the Innovation category as “truly innovative” and “very exciting”. Contributed from San Raffaele Hospital in Italy. Entitled "Non pharmacological treatment of chronic pain: a multimodal approach" the project objective was the definition of an innovative neuro-rehabilitative strategy helping patients with chronic neuropathic pain to regain a correct somatotopic sensibility using a multimodal approach. The team combined virtual reality with neuropsychological support and placed the patient at the core of a multidisciplinary team composed of neurologists, neuropsychologists, neurophysiologists, neurosurgeons and physiotherapists all working in close interactions to provide patients with a personalized rehabilitative strategy.

See the video presentation of this Good Practice N.12

4. The Pelvic Pain Support Network (PPSN) in the UK was the winner in the category of Professional Education. With a project named "Patients as Teachers in Health Professional Education", the PPSN charity has been delivering sessions on the Patient Perspective of pain to trainee doctors and nurses as part of the taught undergraduate curriculum at selected universities.

The objective of the work is to give the students the opportunity to learn about the personal experience of people with long term pain regarding their encounters with health professionals. The sessions are delivered by patients who are also experienced teachers giving students the opportunity to ask questions, delve deeper and thus gain insights at first-hand of the patient perspective.

“It’s excellent that the patient and a family member have been involved as this does emphasise the family impact of pain,” said Collett. “It shows good collaboration between patients, educators and clinicians”.

See the video presentation of this Good Practice N. 16

For Active Citizenship Network it is crucial to gather and share good practices, identify priorities and recommendations and to ensure the commitment of the patient associations, professionals and healthcare institutions. At the same time, it is also fundamental to promote concrete activities involving all the stakeholders to transfer what we have achieved from the European agenda into the European culture: that is, to raise awareness, fight stigma, improve quality of life for people suffering from acute and severe chronic pain and reduce the socio-economic impact of chronic pain in Europe by ensuring that the right to avoid unnecessary suffering is guaranteed everywhere and to everyone. 

Building on this experience, Active Citizenship Network decided to promote the first civic Hub-incubator of best practices against pain across Europe: the “Pain Euro-Mediterranean Coalition”. This is effectively a platform for operators of good pain management practices. The Coalition was officially presented in May 2017 in the framework of the third edition of the “Sine Dolore World Park”.

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For more information, please contact Daniela Quaggia: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Other information:
The Engagement of Cittadinanzattiva in the Fight against Useless Pain
Good practice: the policy of Cittadinanzattiva

Active Citizenship Network is responsible for the scientific design and contents of this Project, that shall be realized with the financial and non-financial support of

The Jury of the Prize is composed by the following project partners:

CancerContribution ECHO efic Emnipre Spain
hope Pain Alliance uehp

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