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ISSUE NO 6 5 NEWS & REVIEWS Since the convening of the first CHANGE PAIN® advisory board meeting in 2009, the CHANGE PAIN® initiative expanded step by step across Europe. Originally conceived to enhance the under- standing of chronic pain patients’ needs and improve pain manage- ment strategies, CHANGE PAIN® has done much to raise the aware- ness of the problems encountered by chronic pain sufferers and de- monstrate the need for a change of attitude towards treatment at both the physician and policy ma- king level. Currently there are about 160 members engaged in CHANGE PAIN® advisory boards across Europe, all intent on improving the lives of chronic pain sufferers. The CHANGE PAIN® initiative has been represented at almost 100 congresses at international or natio- nal level, making physicians more aware of the need for a greater un- derstanding of the mechanisms as- sociated with pain and the need for a more consistent approach to treat- ment.To date there have been more than 60 publication projects on CHANGE PAIN® topics. These have included research results, special interest topics and consensus pu- blications. Until 2011, the inter- national CHANGE PAIN® advisory board alone initiated 13 publicati- ons, providing providing a valuable knowledge resource for healthcare professionals treating chronic pain. ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE INTERNATIONAL CHANGE PAIN INITIATIVE SINCE 2009 CHANGE PAIN® Patient Survey The CHANGE PAIN® Patient Sur- vey has allowed us to study, not only the prevalence of chronic pain in the population, but also the pro- found impact it has on the quality of life for individual sufferers. We have analysed more than 6,500 responses from patients in Germany and these results have been published in 20111 . In Spain over 8,500 patients have now completed the survey and the publication of the results has been submitted for publication. Other countries are now parti- cipating in the survey including Belgium and the Netherlands. Overall analysis of the results of this survey has indicated that approximately 30% of chro- nic pain sufferers are dissatisfied with current treatment, the worse the pain the lower the level of sa- tisfaction. CHANGE PAIN® Physician Survey Initiated at the 2009 EFIC Congress, the CHANGE PAIN® Phy- sician Survey has explored physicians’ views on chronic non-cancer pain. In the meantime (De- cember 2012), there have been 4,188 re- spondents from the survey (79% from Europe), including pain specialists (38%), primary care physicians (27%), and other specialists. The survey has demonstrated huge variations in the use of an- algesics in different European countries both in terms of quantity and specific agents being prescri- bed. Current therapy, particularly the use of opioids, is dependent on geographical location and the effect of individual legislative and cultural practices. The survey has also shown a lack of understanding of the difference between nociceptive and neuropa- thic pain. The differences in opi- nions and approaches adopted by the various groups of healthcare professional have also been em- phasised. (The results on a total of 2,919 participants who respon- ded between September 2009 and December 2011 have been pu- blished in Varrassi & Müller- Schwefe, 2012) Dr Gerhard H.H. Müller-Schwefe Dr Gerhard H.H. Müller-Schwefe President of the German Association for Pain Therapy (DGS), Germany