The Centre of Excellence is the national leader in researching chronic pain in Veterans. The guiding principles for research include national and international collaboration, building upon existing strengths in Canada, and capitalizing on existing investments made by Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC). With the goal of improving Veterans’ well-being, our research findings will be used to promote evidence-based best practices that will inform our network of pain clinics, researchers, case managers, and the public.
At the core of all Centre of Excellence activities is the principle of Veteran engagement. Consultation and engagement with Veterans, which includes an Advisory Council for Veterans (ACV) to advise on research priorities, began prior to establishing the organization and continues as a lasting priority. This ongoing engagement helps to develop a deeper and more thorough understanding of the day-to-day challenges that Veterans and their families face as a result of their experiences with chronic pain. That understanding is used to shape research to ensure that it will have a genuine, practical, and positive impact on the well-being of Veterans and their families.
The Centre of Excellence conducted an initial qualitative study to better understand research priorities for Veterans. One-on-one interviews were conducted with Veterans across five Canadian provinces who reported living with chronic pain that began during their service. Results showed the following research priorities: prevention of chronic pain, improved coordination of chronic pain care, improving knowledge and competencies in pain management among healthcare providers, and improving chronic pain management. A cross-sectional review will commence soon to further define and rank these priorities.
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