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Co-Designing the Surgical Integrated Pain Services to Prevent the Development of Chronic Pain After Surgery in Youth

Preventing chronic pain is the #1 priority for youth with chronic pain, their families, healthcare professionals, and policymakers in Canada. Of the more than 80,000 children in Canada who undergo surgery each year, about 20%  (or 1 in 5) will develop chronic postsurgical pain, and many will continue to use opioids months later. This means that improving how we treat pain from surgery is an ideal and critical time to stop chronic pain before it starts.

Our team used a human-centered design approach to co-design new health services to prevent chronic postsurgical pain in youth. This means that we partnered with youth with lived experience, parents, health professionals, and health system administrators across Canada to address a critical gap in current pain care.

Human-centered design engages health services users, such as youth and families, as co-designers of novel healthcare solutions. Health services designed using a human-centered approach improves service use, treatment adherence, and health outcomes. 


Documents to Guide Implementation of the

Surgical Integrated Pain Service (SIPS)


The project is underway and follows the Patients IncludedTM Ethics Charter.

20190929 Katie Birnie_Cropped

Project Lead

Katie Birnie, PhD RPsych
University of Calgary

Researchers, Health Professionals, Decisionmakers & Policy Partners

Jennifer Stinson, PhD
The Hospital for Sick Children

Fiona Campbell, MD
The Hospital for Sick Children

Fiona Clement, PhD
University of Calgary

Dawn Richards, PhD

Lisa Isaac, MD
The Hospital for Sick Children

Jennifer Tyrrell, RN MN
The Hospital for Sick Children

Brittany Rosenbloom, MA
York University

Pam Hubley, RN MSc
The Hospital for Sick Children

Lisa Pendergast, MHA
The Hospital for Sick Children

Patient &
Parent Partners

Isabel Jordan, BSc
Squamish, British Columbia

Justina Marianayagam, BHSc
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Project Funders

canadian pain society logo nov 2020

Project Partners

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