Symposium SIP 2012

3rd Symposium, May 29th-31st, 2012 in Copenhagen, Denmark

The SIP 2012 symposium took place under the high patronage of the Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers and the Italian Ministry of Health in Copenhagen, Denmark between May 29 and 31. The symposium was hosted by the Danish Association for Chronic Pain Patients (FAKS). The scientific framework of SIP 2012 was under the responsibility of the European Federation of IASP® Chapters (EFIC®). Grünenthal was responsible for funding and non-financial support (e.g. logistical support). The scientific aims of the SIP 2012 symposium have been endorsed by more than 160 pain advocacy groups and scientific organizations, reflecting the broad societal relevance of the topic. With more than 400 participants from more than 30 European countries this international multi-stakeholder platform gathered to discuss and find new ways to address the issues of chronic pain, challenging European policy-makers to acknowledge chronic pain as a disease in its own right.

Active and Healthy Ageing

The report “Healthy Ageing in Relation to Chronic Pain in the European Union”  was one of two documents published during the 3rd symposium on the Social Impact of Pain.

The systematic review looks at evidence found in existing literature and evaluates the interrelation of ageing, quality of life and chronic pain in Europe. It also elaborates whether prevention and treatment of chronic pain may have a significant effect on increasing the lifespan by two years, as intended by the Active and Health Ageing Partnership, a project of the European Commission, which aims to enable EU citizens to lead a healthy, active and independent life while ageing.

The report confirms that the quality of life increases significantly with the reduction of pain. Pain prevention and treatment could be one promising approach to improve quality of life. EFIC® and SIP have now become partners in the EU initiative “European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing”.

Reflection Process on Chronic Diseases

“Reflection Process on Chronic Diseases in the EU – the Role of Chronic Pain” , the second report published during the third SIP symposium, looks at existing literature to facilitate the discussion of chronic pain as a separate entity or disease. It gives insights into the interrelation of chronic pain and chronic diseases, and the obvious effect of chronic pain on healthcare and economic systems. Analysing the existing literature on chronic pain as a disease, the review finally justifies chronic pain to be considered and integrated within the Commission's reflection process.

The report emphasizes the prevalence of chronic pain as high and showed that there is a strong link between increasing age and prevalence of chronic pain. In people older than 65 years at least every second person is affected. Even a conservative estimate for lower back pain with 1400€ per year and 15% prevalence counted a total annual population cost of about €10 billion – a similar order of magnitude as stroke and possibly much higher.