New online tool supports youth living with chronic pain
The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) has partnered with other hospitals, academic institutions, community organizations, and people who live with chronic pain to create the Power Over Pain Portal, a first-in-Canada virtual chronic pain management portal. Funded by Health Canada, Power Over Pain offers free evidenced-based virtual resources to help youth and adults manage their chronic pain.
One in five children in Canada experience chronic pain, with access to appropriate care continuing to be a challenge. More than 50 per cent of people living with pain are referred to specialized programs with extended wait times. Access to care is further challenged when mental health and substance use health needs are present. Improving resources for chronic pain care is one of the top priorities identified by the Canadian Pain Task Force, a group that advises Health Canada on evidence and best practices for chronic pain management.
“Improving access, delivery, and coordination of care with a view to reduce disparities is a top priority for paediatric chronic pain,” says Dr. Jennifer Stinson, Senior Scientist in the Child Health Evaluative Sciences program, Co-Director of the SickKids Pain Centre, Nurse Practitioner in the Chronic Pain Program and co-lead of the youth version of the portal.
“The Power over Pain Portal has the potential to make effective health care widely accessible and can be leveraged in order to reduce inequities related to access to care in Canada.”
Youth portal offers pain management resources
The Power Over Pain Portal for Youth is home to a variety of resources, from self-directed courses to one-on-one counseling, with the goal of providing flexible and rapid access to pain management tools.
“Power Over Pain is designed with and for those with pain to ensure care is equitable and accessible”, said Vina Mohabir, Patient Advisor, Clinical Research Project Coordinator in iOUCH Lab and co-lead of the youth advisory committee. “These resources are personalized and backed by science. Like a buffet, you can pick and choose which method or approach is best for you right now.”
The portal is also being integrated with Wellness Together Canada, the federal platform to support mental health and substance use concerns. The goal is to create a one-stop shop for mental health, substance use and chronic pain resources.
The Power Over Pain Portal was developed in collaboration with clinicians and researchers from SickKids, The Ottawa Hospital, Women’s College Hospital, the University of Calgary, Memorial University of Newfoundland, people with lived pain experience, and community organizations.