Research Agenda for the Prevention of Pain and Its Impact: Report of the Work Group on the Prevention of Acute and Chronic Pain of the Federal Pain Research Strategy

Robert J. Gatchel, David B. Reuben, Simon Dagenais, Dennis C. Turk, Roger Chou, Andrew D. Hershey, Gregory E. Hicks, John C. Licciardone, Susan D. Horn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


After the 2011 Institute of Medicine report on chronic pain, the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee (IPRCC) was created to enhance research efforts among federal agencies. The IPRCC and Office of Pain Policy at the National Institutes of Health collaborated to identify gaps in knowledge and address them via a Federal Pain Research Strategy (FPRS). Interdisciplinary work groups (WGs) were established to make research recommendations in 5 areas: prevention of acute and chronic pain, acute pain and acute pain management, transition from acute to chronic pain, chronic pain and chronic pain management, and disparities in pain and pain care; cross-cutting issues were also considered. The objective was to provide guidance on current research and to make recommendations about addressing identified gaps. Findings from the Prevention of Acute and Chronic Pain WG are summarized in this article. The WG created subgroups to develop recommendations on specific aspects of prevention of acute and chronic pain, including: public education, primary prevention, secondary prevention, tertiary prevention, transition from acute to chronic pain, and cross-cutting mediators. No formal literature review was conducted; however, external advisors were available and consulted as needed. Seven key research priorities were identified. The one deemed “greatest near-term value” was to optimize public health strategies to educate patients on managing pain; that deemed “most impactful” was to determine an association between patient and intervention factors. Other recommendations were related to the epidemiology of acute pain from health care procedures, the epidemiology of acute pain from work-related injuries, safety and effectiveness of management of pain associated with health care procedures, optimizing approaches to acute postsurgical pain, and safety and effectiveness of early interventions for tertiary prevention. Stakeholders, including federally sponsored research programs, researchers, health care providers, policy makers, patients, and others should work together to implement recommendations and address important gaps. Perspective: The FPRS Steering Committee created 5 WGs to identify research needs and make recommendations in key areas of research. This article reports the results of one—the Prevention of Acute and Chronic Pain group. Several research priorities emerged, and recommendations made to fill existing knowledge gaps.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)837-851
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Pain
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2018



  • Federal pain research strategy
  • acute pain
  • chronic pain
  • interagency pain research coordinating committee
  • interdisciplinary research
  • pain prevention
  • research priorities

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