McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

New website helps those in pain

DeGroote PainHQ provides evidence-based resources

Published: September 23, 2015
Norm Buckley
Dr. Norm Buckley, Professor and Chair, Department of Anaesthesia, and director, Michael G. DeGroote National Pain Centre

An online resource has been launched for the more than 2.5 million of Canadians living with neuropathic pain. The DeGroote PainHQ website provides access to evidence-based resources curated by experts and rated by the public.

"Neuropathy is persistent pain resulting from nerve damage and it's not widely understood. It can have a tremendous impact on an individual's quality of life and their loved ones", says Dr. Norm Buckley, director of the Michael G. DeGroote National Pain Centre at McMaster University which has launched DeGroote PainHQ.

"We wanted to provide a variety of learning tools, based on best-evidence, to help navigate the diagnosis and life afterwards. Research has shown that when a patient understands neuropathic pain, their outcomes are improved."

The range of resources makes DeGroote PainHQ unique. Personal stories, e-learning videos, webinars and expert blogs are among the site's offerings. The goal is to educate on neuropathic pain and to help make information about the condition more accessible to the general public. There are plans to broaden the website to include other types of pain.

Marisa Gettas, of Toronto, ON, was diagnosed with neuropathy in 2009. She has examined the new website, and feels it give essential information for her condition.

"Unless people have experienced it — or have lived with someone who has it — it's so hard to comprehend," says Gettas. "People expect that you should feel better two weeks after the doctor has prescribed you some medication. But that's just not a reality."

Visitors to the web site may rate and review its resources. In this way, individuals with neuropathic pain can share what has been most helpful, identify what treatments worked for them and share their personal stories. In addition, a network of experts, including pain specialists, neurologists, psychiatrists, rehabilitation therapists and other health care providers will help provide a range of perspectives and information on neuropathic pain.

DeGroote PainHQ is an innovative and sustainable resource for patient-centred care, said Buckley, as it builds on McMaster's strengths in evidence-based medicine, health education and e-learning. The initiative is funded by a gift from philanthropist Michael G. DeGroote.

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