Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research



The Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, has requested that the IOM (Institute of Medicine) convene the ad hoc committee to address the current state of the science with respect to pain research, care, and education; and explore approaches to advance the field.

Specifically, the committee will

  1. Review and quantify the public health significance of pain, including the adequacy of assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and management of acute and chronic pain in the United States. This effort will take a comprehensive view of chronic pain as a biological, biobehavioral, and societal condition.

  2. Identify barriers to appropriate pain care and strategies to reduce such barriers, including exploring the importance of individualized approaches to diagnosis and treatment of pain.

  3. Identify demographic groups and special populations, including older adults, individuals with co-morbidities, and cognitive impairment, that may be disparately undertreated for pain, and discuss related research needs, barriers particularly associated with these demographic groups, and opportunities to reduce such barriers.

  4. Identify and discuss what scientific tools and technologies are available, what strategies can be employed to enhance training of pain researchers, and what interdisciplinary research approaches will be necessary in the short and long term to advance basic, translational, and clinical pain research and improve the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and management of pain.

  5. Discuss opportunities for public–private partnerships in the support and conduct of pain research, care, and education.

Publication types

  • Review

Grants and funding

This study was supported by Contract No. N01-OD-4-2139, Task Order No. 234 between the National Academy of Sciences and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health.