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Federal Pain Research Strategy Overview

The NIH Office of Pain Policy is pleased to announce the release of the Federal Pain Research Strategy (PDF, 958.80 KB).

The Federal Pain Research Strategy (FPRS) is an effort of the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee (IPRCC) and the National Institutes of Health, Office of Pain Policy to oversee development of a long-term strategic plan to advance the federal pain research agenda. The strategy is relevant to the missions all federal agencies and departments that support pain research.  The research priorities of the FPRS are intended to guide strategic research planning and to support funding decisions that will fill crucial gaps in the federal pain research portfolio. 

The strategy fulfills the IPRCC mandates to Identify critical gaps in basic and clinical research on the symptoms and causes of pain and to make recommendations to ensure that the activities of the National Institutes of Health and other Federal agencies are free of unnecessary duplication of effort.  The FPRS completes the National Pain Strategy NPS section on pain research in that it Includes an agenda for developing physiological, clinical, behavioral, psychological, outcomes, and health services research and appropriate links across these domains that align with the NPS.

The IPRCC and NIH thank the scientific experts, patient advocates, and federal representatives who developed and prioritized the research recommendations of the FPRS for their time, expertise, and commitment to this important effort.

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Federal Pain Research Strategy Report (PDF, 958.80 KB)

A strategic plan for pain research across federal agencies.

The FPRS planning committee, which includes the NIH/NINDS Office of Pain Policy, members of the NIH Pain Consortium and members of the IPRCC, has assembled a diverse and balanced group of scientific experts, patient advocates, and federal representatives who are working to identify and prioritize research recommendations as a basis for a long term strategic plan to coordinate and advance the federal research agenda.The key areas of prevention of acute and chronic pain, acute pain and acute pain management, the transition from acute to chronic pain, chronic pain and chronic pain management, and disparities in pain and pain care will provide a framework for development of the strategy upon which important cross-cutting elements will be addressed.

Federal Pain Strategy Organization

Role of the IPRCC

  • Reviews and approves the organizational and operational structure for the strategy
  • Revises and completes the RFI to inform the work groups
  • Sets charge to the steering committee
  • Provides feedback throughout the process through the steering committee
  • Final approval of the strategy

Role of the Steering Committee

  • Selects work group co-chairs
  • Sets charge to the work groups with RFI feedback considered.
  • Steering committee co-chairs serve as liaison to the IPRCC and work groups.
  • Monitors work group progress through communication with the work group co-chairs.
  • Ensures coordination and integration of effort across the work groups.
  • Plans and oversees the Delphi based prioritization of recommendations across the work groups.

Role of the Working Groups

  • Refine their defined theme (in coordination with the steering committee as per the overall work group organization) and determine appropriate cross cutting themes
  • Consider RFI feedback
  • Federal facilitator (OPP) reports to  and from the steering committee
  • Federal representative (IPRCC or other) to serve as a liaison to the steering committee and serve as an information resource on agency and to ensure that areas of priority to agency/department missions are included in the strategy
  • Participate in scheduled “cross-work group co-chair“ meetings to ensure integration/coordination
  • Review the portfolio, consider needs, opportunities and priorities
  • Complete their charge; develop priorities.

Work Flow

Planning Committee proposes organizational, operational structure and work group themes.

Planning Committee submits the proposal to IPRCC for pre-meeting review and comment.

IPRCC revises and approvs the proposal.

IPRCC provides nominations for the steering committee membership within the established framework.

Nominations also solicited from the NIH Pain Consortium Executive Committee, VHA Pain Research Working Group, and other agency pain relevant groups  through the federal IPRCC members.

Revision and approval and posting (IPRCC Website) of the organizational and structural flow for the FPRS, as per the IPRCC.

Review, approval and release of the RFI.

Final selection of the steering  committee as per the criteria- process.

Establish the Steering Committee.

IPRCC sets the charge to the steering committee (to include communication strategies,  theme definitions and cross cutting issues, and responsibilities).

The steering committee nominates members for the working groups and select/appoint the work co-chairs.

The steering committee sets the charge for the working groups.

The co-chairs select their work group membership, ensuring balance of expertise, representation, and optimal size of 8-12 members, in accord with defined criteria. 

The work groups refine the definitions  and cross-cutting priorities/issues as per content experts and RFI.

The work groups review the portfolio, identify gaps and opportunities,  and develop and prioritize recommendations for future research

The steering committee will oversee the process of prioritization  using a modified Delphi method.