The European Pain Federation EFIC has always been dedicated to bio-psycho-social concepts of pain and inter-disciplinarity. Encouraging all attendees of #EFIC2019 to understand different approaches to pain management is one of the main priorities of EFIC.

The current EFIC President Prof. Bart Morlion made it one of the main issues of his presidency to have a patient-centric approach and increase EFIC’s engagement with representatives of people living with chronic pain. This is reflected in the #EFIC2019 programme with a whole track dedicated to patient-focused topics which have been identified by patient representatives. However, patient representatives are sometimes inadvertently excluded from medical society meetings on the basis of cost. So to promote access to #EFIC2019, members of patient organisations are this year entitled to a discounted attendance rate.

People living with chronic pain will provide different perspectives of the patient experience including issues related to their quality of life e.g. family life/relationships, intimacy, family planning as well as practical tools to get the most out of their consultation with doctors. Sessions will also touch upon adherence to prescription and management techniques including physical activity and self-management. Patient perspective will also be offered on important real world issues such as ‘How to Live and Work with Chronic Pain’, and communication between patients and healthcare professionals.

Representatives of people with pain will not just be present in the scientific programmes. We will also count on the presence of our partners from patient organisations in the exhibitor area and we are proud to have received abstract submissions for our poster presentation focusing on patient-led work in the area of advocacy. Furthermore, EFIC aims to provide streamed sessions of interest to the patient community online and our plenary speakers will give patient-focused talks on the main topic from their lectures in user-friendly language accessible to a lay audience.

To conclude, when a healthcare professional and a chronic pain patient are in dialogue, it is a meeting of two experts. The HCP is the expert in clinical issues but the patient is the expert on how their pain affects their life, and therefore how treatment and management plans should be developed to optimise the quality of life of the patient.  #EFIC2019 is therefore seeking to ensure the integration of patient organisations and representatives of people living with chronic pain in a way which respects this expertise and the exciting added value it will surely bring to the congress as a whole.

Neil Betteridge
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