July 8, 2022

Dr. Katie Birnie | CIHR Planning Grant Success!

Congratulations to Dr. Katie Birnie and the team on their successful CIHR Planning Grant to develop a screening tool for pediatric chronic postsurgical pain!

Birnie, K.A. (NPA), Rosenbloom, B. (co-PI), Jordan, I., Newman, G., Sun, J., Wan, M.S., Isaac, L., Katz, J., Rasic, N., Stinson, J., Tyrrell, J. (2022-2023). Developing a screening measure of risk for pediatric chronic postsurgical pain: A multi-stakeholder consensus conference. Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Planning and Dissemination Grant - Institute Community Support ($20,028).  

Pain lasting months to years (called chronic pain) is a public health crisis that impacts 1-3 million youth in Canada. Youth with chronic pain experience more anxiety, depression, and negative impacts on sleep, school, and friends than their peers. Finding ways to prevent chronic pain is the #1 priority identified by Canadian youth with chronic pain, their families, and healthcare professionals. About one in five youth that undergo surgeries that require an overnight hospital stay will develop chronic pain from that surgery (called chronic postsurgical pain). Research has figured out that some youth are more likely to develop chronic pain after surgery, including youth who already have pain before surgery, are more anxious, feel less confident managing pain, and have parents who worry about their pain. Our team has already worked with youth, parents, healthcare professionals, and hospital managers to create new health services to prevent chronic pain after surgery, but we discovered that we don’t have a way to easily identify youth who are most at-risk before surgery happens. Our goal with this project is to fix this gap. We will work together to choose a set of questions based on existing research that youth and parents can answer before surgery that accurately tells us which youth are more likely to develop chronic postsurgical pain (called the Pediatric Chronic Postsurgical Pain Risk Scale). We will do this by asking youth with chronic postsurgical pain, parents, healthcare professionals, and researchers from Canada and around the world to complete surveys and participate in two online sessions to: (1) agree on the set of questions to ask youth and parents before surgery; (2) plan an international research project to make sure the questions are the best ones to use; and (3) plan how we will share what we learn with others. This project will help get the right treatments to the right youth at the right time to make sure no youth develop chronic pain after surgery.