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CPS Position Statement
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Position Statement

As a chapter of the International Association for the Study of Pain, the Canadian Pain Society supports the treatment of pain as a basic human right.

Almost all acute and cancer pain can be relieved, and most patients with chronic non-cancer pain can be helped. People have a right to access the best care possible for pain whether this be acute pain, pain caused by cancer, or chronic non-cancer pain. Evidence supports that chronic pain is not just a symptom of underlying illness or injury, but it is a disease in its own right, with significant changes in complex biological, and psychosocial functions.

  • Routine assessment is essential for effective management. Pain is a subjective experience involving multiple characteristics including biological and psychosocial factors, all of which must be considered for comprehensive assessment and management.
  • Unrelieved acute pain complicates recovery. Unrelieved pain after surgery or injury results in more complications, longer hospital stays, greater disability, and potentially long-term pain.
  • Patients’ self-report of pain should be used whenever possible. For patients unable to report pain, a non-verbal assessment method must be used.
  • Health professionals have a responsibility to assess pain routinely, to accept patients’ pain reports, to document them, and to intervene in order to manage pain.
  • The best approach to pain management involves patients, families, and health professionals. Patients and families must be informed that they have a right to the best pain care possible and encouraged to communicate the severity of their pain.

Approved by the Board of Directors Canadian Pain Society June 4, 2010.

Position Statement on Opioid Analgesics in Pain Management - 2015 update

Prevention of opioid misuse: A summary with suggestions from a Pain Working Group