Saturday, June 13, 2009

CAHR - Community Alliances for Health Research and Knowledge Exchange on Pain - Canada

Message from the Director, Dr. James L. Henry. 

CAHR-pain is a Canadian research network funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to provide knowledge translation to receptor communities in the area of pain.  The six themes are each led by internationally-recognized leaders in the field, and you are invited to learn about what each theme has as its research objectives, who the participants are in each research theme, what the respective receptor communities are, what the long-term objectives are and how these will be carried out.  This information is available by clicking on the respective section of this web site.
Studies have shown that one in five Canadians suffers some form of persistent or chronic pain.  The impact on individual lives, on families and friends, on the health services sector and on the economy is huge.  CAHR-pain has been created to develop, disseminate and evaluate innovation in knowledge translation.  Bridging the quality chasm between chronic pain and the care process will come from this unique confluence of opinion from all stakeholders committed within this focussed community of practice to address the impact of pain.
Pain has traditionally been seen as secondary to something else – the result is under-treated or untreated pain, unnecessary suffering, heavier reliance on the health care system, loss of productivity in the workforce, absenteeism, increased comorbidity, and a cycle of illness that overall exacts a heavy toll on Canadians and the Canadian economy. Reliable evidence is available that these burdens can be markedly reduced when available knowledge is applied.  Various levels of success in this regard have been demonstrated when there is exchange, synthesis and ethically sound application of research findings within a complex set of interactions among researchers and knowledge users.  The objectives of this initiative are to accelerate the capture of the benefits of research for Canadians through improved health, more effective and responsive services and products, and a strengthened health care system through promoting and integrating six internationally-recognized success stories to bring about health reform and health care reform across Canada as it pertains to the one in five Canadians living with chronic, disabling pain.  Demonstration will be initiated in one jurisdiction as a model.
Partnership development will be an on-going program.  As research initiatives evolve, new opportunities for partnership will announce themselves. A mobilizing plan for action has been developed and will be pursued based on shared vision and common values, which builds commitment, engages participants and uses participants' time well.
The overarching impact from the outputs of this CAHR is to promote and sustain a balanced portfolio of curiosity-based and needs-based research, which along with existing knowledge will be mobilized and applied for the benefit of Canadians, the health system and the economy.
The value-added of the CAHR is as follows:

  • Creation of a unified stakeholder voice to make recommendations for public and voluntary sector policy development to address the huge burden of chronic pain
  • Creation of the defensible case for research-community interactions in this domain to ensure that reliable knowledge addresses burden by being socially robust
  • Enhancement of the funding base supporting operations and, on this basis, potential for leverage from the public purse, for incremental funding

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