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Pain Research and Management
Volume 2016, Article ID 1859434, 8 pages

Research Priorities in the Field of Posttraumatic Pain and Disability: Results of a Transdisciplinary Consensus-Generating Workshop

1Western University, London, ON, Canada N6G 1H1
2Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
3McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8S 4K1
4University of Western Sydney, Campbelltown, NSW 2753, Australia
5University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
6Canadian Chiropractic Association, Toronto, ON, Canada M5T 3B2
7Canadian Pain Coalition, Oshawa, ON, Canada L1J 8P7
8Good Law Office, London, ON, Canada N6A 5J7
9University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
10University of Maryland, College Park, MD 21201, USA
11University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada V7A 4S5
12McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada H3G 1Y5

Received 16 June 2015; Accepted 27 August 2015

Copyright © 2016 David M. Walton et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Chronic or persistent pain and disability following noncatastrophic “musculoskeletal” (MSK) trauma is a pervasive public health problem. Recent intervention trials have provided little evidence of benefit from several specific treatments for preventing chronic problems. Such findings may appear to argue against formal targeted intervention for MSK traumas. However, these negative findings may reflect a lack of understanding of the causal mechanisms underlying the transition from acute to chronic pain, rendering informed and objective treatment decisions difficult. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis (IMHA) has recently identified better understanding of causal mechanisms as one of three priority foci of their most recent strategic plan. Objectives. A 2-day invitation-only active participation workshop was held in March 2015 that included 30 academics, clinicians, and consumers with the purpose of identifying consensus research priorities in the field of trauma-related MSK pain and disability, prediction, and prevention. Methods. Conversations were recorded, explored thematically, and member-checked for accuracy. Results. From the discussions, 13 themes were generated that ranged from a focus on identifying causal mechanisms and models to challenges with funding and patient engagement. Discussion. Novel priorities included the inclusion of consumer groups in research from the early conceptualization and design stages and interdisciplinary longitudinal studies that include evaluation of integrated phenotypes and mechanisms.