If you suffer from a chronic illness, there’s new hope coming from McMaster University. The Federal government is spending over $60 million for research that is not only focused on patients but asks for their input to help develop new treatments.
Federal Health Minister and family doctor Jane Philpott announced $62 million in funding for 5 new research networks, two of which will be at McMaster in Hamilton, the others are located at McGill in Montreal, the University of Toronto and University of British Columbia. Each one will have a different focus. At UBC it will be chronic kidney disease. McGill will do research for children with a brain disability. U of T will focus on diabetes, while McMaster will research gastro intestinal disease and chronic pain.
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For chronic pain and bowel disease sufferers, getting almost $25 million from the federal government and another $67 million from interested parties for Hamilton-centred research is a very big deal.
This attention to the patients’ excruciating illnesses, and this new research based on their guidance, is boosting their hopes for improvements or cures.
“Undermanaged chronic pain is an epidemic in Canada,” said Kitchener resident Lynn Cooper at Health Minister Jane Philpott’s McMaster University funding announcement on Thursday.
Seven million Canadians — one in five — suffer from devastating chronic pain, said Cooper, president of the Canadian Pain Coalition.
“At its worst, this pain is disabling, dehumanizing, and deadly when people take their lives because they can no longer bear the pain.”
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A unique set of grants focused on patient-oriented research were announced today. Patients and their families were involved in the research process and were able to formulate the types of questions they want scientists to answer about the diseases that affect them.
Minister of Health Jane Philpott announced the funding of five new research networks through Canada’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) at an event held at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont. The University of Calgary is co-leading two of the initiatives focused on gastrointestinal disease and kidney disease.
The gastrointestinal disease component is a national collaboration of patients and scientists that will look at how gut bacteria and diet cause IBD, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and the anxiety and depression associated with these disorders.
There is a basic science component to the project that involves the microbiome centre at the University of Calgary where researchers will work to understand gut bacteria in the bowel.
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Canada’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) is about ensuring that the right patient receives the right intervention at the right time.
Patient-oriented research refers to a continuum of research that engages patients as partners, focusses on patient-identified priorities and improves patient outcomes. This research, conducted by multidisciplinary teams in partnership with relevant stakeholders, aims to apply the knowledge generated to improve healthcare systems and practices.
The objective of SPOR is to foster evidence-informed health care by bringing innovative diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to the point of care, so as to ensure greater quality, accountability, and accessibility of care.
SPOR is a coalition of federal, provincial and territorial partners – all dedicated to the integration of research into care:
- patients and caregivers
- health practitioners
- policy makers
- provincial/territorial health authorities
- academic institutions
- private sector
Also see the website for: Pan-Canadian SPOR Network in Primary and Integrated Health Care Innovations.
The Michael G. DeGroote National Pain Centre is the third pillar in the tripod of what is anticipated to be an internationally important initiative.
In Hamilton, the identification of the problem of chronic pain and the need for development of effective treatment is increasingly absorbing more attention and focus.
The National Pain Centre has the basic science program currently in the Institute for Pain Research and Care, robustly accented with related research in its sister institutes.
McMaster and Hamilton Health Sciences currently operate the largest university-affiliated pain centre in Canada, with over 13,000 patient visits annually. This provides clinical care as well as training for health care professionals in pain management, and a unique opportunity to evaluate the impact of guidelines on care.
The combination of basic science, clinical care and education, and now the National Pain Centre’s development of best practice guidelines will make the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Pain Research and Care unequalled in the international quest to resolve the problem of chronic pain.