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Federal agencies launch pain research database

Wednesday May 28, 2014
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The Interagency Pain Research Portfolio, a database that provides information about pain research and training activities supported by the federal government, has been launched by six federal agencies, according to a National Institutes of Health news release. In addition to NIH, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the CDC, the FDA, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense played roles in developing the IPRP, which allows users to search for information about federally funded pain research projects.

“This database will provide the public and the research community with an important tool to learn more about the breadth and details of pain research supported across the federal government,” Linda Porter, PhD, policy adviser for pain at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, part of the NIH, said in the release. “They can search for individual research projects or sets of projects grouped by themes uniquely relevant to pain. It also can be helpful in identifying potential collaborators by searching for topic areas of interest or for investigators.”

Users of the database can search more than 1,200 research projects in a multitiered system. In Tier 1, grants are organized as basic, translational and clinical research projects. In Tier 2, grants are sorted among 29 scientific topic areas related to pain and nine overarching research themes, which include pain mechanisms; basic to clinical; disparities; training and education; tools and instruments; risk factors and causes; surveillance and human trials; overlapping conditions; and use of services, treatments and interventions.

Staff across the federal agencies coded their projects according to these primary and secondary categories and identified projects as relevant to specific pain conditions or groups of pain conditions.

The database was developed by NIH staff and members of the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee, a federal advisory committee formed to increase understanding of pain and improve treatment strategies by expanding pain research efforts and encouraging collaboration across the government.

“The database reveals a diverse research portfolio in which contributions from federal agencies and departments reflect their unique missions and the populations that they serve,” Porter said in the release. “For the first time, this information has been collected into a single database that can be mined to ensure that federal research efforts are not redundant and to identify opportunities to collaborate and share resources across agencies. In addition, it will help the federal entities that support pain research to identify gaps in research areas and trends in topic areas over time.”

The economic cost of pain is estimated to be hundreds of billions of dollars annually in lost wages and productivity, according to the release.

The database is managed by the Office of Pain Policy at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

To access the IPRP database, visit http://paindatabase.nih.gov.
For information about the IPRCC, visit http://iprcc.nih.gov.


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