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Co-Designing Health Services to Prevent the Development of Chronic Pain After Surgery

Preventing chronic is the #1 priority for Canadian youth, their families, and healthcare providers. Of the more than 80,000 Canadian children 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.

The goal of this project is to design a new hospital care team that helps to prevent the development of chronic pain in children and teens after surgery. We know that children’s hospitals in Canada want a hospital care team like this, but they don’t yet know how to do it well. We will talk to and partner with all groups of people who would be impacted by this new hospital care team, including youth with pain, family members, healthcare providers, and hospital leaders. We will engage them through interviews, surveys, and in-person planning meetings. This group of people will work together to decide when, where, and how the new hospital care team should be available. The group will also decide what healthcare providers are needed for the new care team, and what questions we should ask to know whether the new care team is helpful, acceptable, and ready to be adopted by other children’s hospitals.

What we learn will help us to plan future projects to keep improving care for youth with pain. We will also evaluate whether our partnership was successful, and share how we worked together as an example for others who want to address top priorities identified by children, teens, and their families.


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

Join Us!

We are currently recruiting for this study.

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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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