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About European Pain Federation EFIC

What is the European Pain Federation EFIC?

The European Pain Federation EFIC is a multidisciplinary professional organisation in the field of pain research and medicine, consisting of the 37 chapters of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP®), which are the IASP approved official National Pain Societies in each country. Established in 1993, The European Pain Federation EFIC constituent chapters represent Pain Societies from 37 European countries and close to 20,000 physicians, basic researchers, nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists and other healthcare professionals across Europe, who are involved in pain management and pain research.

Message from the European Pain Federation President-Elect Brona Fullen

I am delighted to have been nominated to serve as President-Elect of EFIC as I strongly believe in the Association’s Vision and Mission. For those of you who do not know me I am a chartered Physiotherapist from Ireland. I hold an academic position in University College Dublin where my research area of interest lies in the multidisciplinary assessment and rehabilitation of patients with chronic pain. I was the first physiotherapist to serve as President of the Irish Pain Society and have contributed to the EFIC Executive Board both as a member-at-large (2015-17) and as Hon. Secretary (2017-current).

The vision I have for my presidency of EFIC, looking inwards, looking outwards, and looking to the future, builds on the success of all previous Presidents, whilst preparing for the future. Looking inwards at EFIC the addition of new highly qualified staff has significantly enhanced our profile as well as progressing the Federation’s strategic plan. I look forward to advancing and developing these initiatives. When I think about looking outwards from EFIC I am considering our membership – the richness and diversity present in those we have currently, and those we ought to be targeting as future members (e.g. General Practitioners). For current grass roots members we need to further engage and empower them so that they feel there is a value in being part of EFIC.

While I am sure this is being done on a local level already, we need to maximise our efforts in increasing awareness of what we as a Federation do There is much that sets EFIC apart…at the heart of which is the multidisciplinary membership. Therefore the educational content of national and international meetings needs to reflect this diversity to promote both growth and interest in EFIC.

Ultimately this will strengthen our brand across Europe. Looking to the future – I believe in beginning with the end in mind. We are preparing the next generation of healthcare workers and researchers, and that it is not simply about learning within the four walls of a classroom or congress – it’s about contributing to organisational and institutional changes in health services across Europe. They are going to inherit the major healthcare issue that pain is, and we have an opportunity to shape it through our online education platform, our Pain Schools that I would like to expand to include other disciplines, and through our Congresses. I haven’t mentioned the patient yet, but of course they are at the core of all we do. Continuing public and patient involvement through engagement with patient support groups as well as our work in the European Parliament is essential.

These are just some thoughts that will evolve before my term as President begins I have much to offer in helping EFIC remain a vibrant, flexible, outward looking and responsible Federation that remains financially sustainable and well governed. I look forward to meeting and working with you in the coming years.

European Pain Federation; developing future clinicians

The European Pain Federation EFIC© took a major stride forward in its educational projects last week and held two examinations on the 20th and 21st of April 2018 at the Gasthuisberg campus of the University of Leuven, Belgium.

The Examination for the European Diploma in Pain Medicine (EDPM) took place in full for the second time, and the Examination for the European Diploma in Pain Physiotherapy (EDPP) was launched.

European Diploma in Pain Physiotherapy (EDPP)


Examiners for the EDPP: (l-r) Catherine Doody, An de Groef, Brona Fullen (Hon. Secretary EFIC), Harriet Wittink (Exam Director), Morten Høgh, Catherine Blake.

The EDPP aims to improve the standard of pain assessment and treatment through the provision of a qualification for physiotherapists that tests their broad understanding of all types of pain and their treatment. It is based on the European Pain Federation Pain Core Curriculum in Pain Physiotherapy and recommended reading list. The EDPP was taken by candidates from Belgium and Chile. It comprised an MCQ paper, a clinical skills examination and a viva.

Executive Board member and EDPP Exam Committee member Brona Fullen commented;

‘Physiotherapists have a vital role to play in pain treatment. The EDPP is a new qualification designed to assess physiotherapists’ understanding of and clinical experience in pain. We would like to see the EDPP becoming the main qualification that physiotherapists use to demonstrate their expertise in pain management.’

European Diploma in Pain Medicine (EDPM)

Examiners for the EDPM: (l-r) Sam Kynman (Executive Director, EFIC), Emilija Dubljanin-Raspopovic, Christoph Stein, Nevenka Krčevski Škvarč, Daniele Battelli, Yasir Abbasi, Asbjörn Mohr-Drewes, Bart Morlion (President, EFIC), Hani Hattar, Patricia Schofield, Arun Bhaskar, Stephan Schug, Roger Knaggs, Liam Conroy (Exam Director).

The European Diploma in Pain Medicine (EDPM) was held in full for the second time, with candidates from the UK, Ireland, Spain, the Netherlands, Brazil and India. Participants undertook an MCQ paper, a series of Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) and a viva examination. The OSCEs tested skills such as communication, clinical examination, history taking, statistics and interpretation of data.

President and EDPM Exam Committee member Bart Morlion commented;

‘The EDPM was the first examination we launched; it is our flagship educational project. It is essential that medical doctors have a standardised examination that tests their knowledge of the theoretical foundations of pain and their clinical experiences in pain management. We are delighted to provide such an examination and qualification.’

The next sitting of the EDPM and EDPP is Spring 2019.

EFIC 2017 Bursary / Prizes Awardees

A number of grants and prizes were awarded at the 2017 European Pain Federation EFIC conference

EFIC Ulf Lindblom Prize for European Pain Medicine Diploma Exam

Awarded to Dr. Nicolas Varela, MD, PhD, EDPM, DESA, from Spain for achieving the highest grade in the European Pain Medicine Diploma exam (March 2017)

EFIC-IBSA Foundation Award

Sponsored by IBSA Foundation for Scientific Research, Switzerland the EFIC IBSA Foundation Award is an annual prize of CHF 2,500 which goes to an author for an excellent original article in the areas of pain science research or clinical research published in the European Journal of Pain in 2016.

Award for Science Research

Kirsty Bannister,
University College London, UK

Award for Clinical Research

Gijsbrecht AJ van Velzen,
Leiden University Medical Centre,
The Netherlands

EFIC-Grunenthal Research Grants for Clinical and Human Experimental Pain Research

These biennial grants totalling € 200,000 from Grünenthal are supporting young scientists early in their career to carry out innovative clinical pain research in any member country of European Pain Federation EFIC®. Individual research grants are valued at up to € 40,000 per project for a duration of up to two years.

2016 E-G-G Winners:

Dr Susanne Becker, PhD Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Germany

Dr Piero Chiacciaretta, PhD University “G.D’Annunzio” of Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy

Dr Joukje Oosterman, PhD Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

AssProf Max Ortiz Catalan, PhD Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden

Dr Roi Treister, PhD University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel

Dr Anne-Priscille Trouvin, MD Hôpital Cochin, Paris, France

European Pain Federation Poster Prizes


Basic ScienceDr Fauchon

Modular structure of pain functional network

Translational scienceDr S. Huber

Short-term results showing significantly reduced pain levels for users of an app digitalizing multimodal therapy to treat low back pain

Clinical Science - Dr T.C. Chen

Variation on observational studies explain long-term opioid effectiveness in chronic pain: A systematic review

European Pain Federation EFIC Task Force to Improve Management of Perioperative Pain

Are you interested in getting involved in research to improve perioperative pain management of your patients?

The European Pain Federation EFIC Task Force on Improving Management of Perioperative Pain and PAIN OUT invite healthcare providers caring for patients undergoing surgery to apply for a project aimed at improving management of perioperative pain.

Further details can be found here

European Pain Federation EFIC Fact Sheet

A fact sheet containing general information about the European Pain Federation EFIC can be downloaded here.