The Canadian Pain Task Force was established in March 2019 to help the Government of Canada better understand and address the needs of Canadians who live with pain. Through to December 2021, the Task Force is mandated to provide advice and information to guide government decision-makers towards an improved approach to the prevention and management of chronic pain in this country. The eight Task Force members include people personally impacted by chronic pain, researchers, educators, and health professionals with experience and expertise in preventing and managing chronic pain across major professional disciplines (i.e., medicine, pharmacy, psychology, and physiotherapy). The Task Force is also supported by an External Advisory Panel that provides up-to-date scientific evidence, information, and advice to the Task Force reflecting their wide-ranging areas of expertise and experience.
In the first phase of their mandate ending June 2019, the Task Force assessed how chronic pain is currently addressed in Canada. To inform their assessment, they consulted with Advisory Panel members at a two day workshop in May. They met with representatives from eight federal government departments and agencies. They consulted provincial/territorial government representatives and targeted pain stakeholders, and they reviewed reports and the scientific literature. They also invited twelve people living with chronic pain to provide written responses to questions about their experience with pain and their hopes for the Canadian Pain Task Force. The report herein summarizes their findings from this rapid assessment of the current state of chronic pain in Canada and some of the personal responses from people living with pain. The activities undertaken to inform this report mark only the start of the Task Force's engagement of Canadians in this important work.