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NRS Pain developments

Current Events

NRS Pain/SPaRC 2024 Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM)

The NRS Pain/SPaRC 14th ASM will take place on Friday 6 December 2024 at Malmaison, Dundee. This will be an in-person only event.

We are delighted to confirm keynote speakers:

  • Professor Geert Crombez, Ghent University, Belguim
  • Professor Frances Williams, King's College, London

Registration and Call for Abstracts will open towards the end of summer (August 2024).

Consultation on NHS Scotland Core Minimum Dataset and Quality Performance Indicators for Pain Services Project aims

Consultation on NHS Scotland Core Minimum Dataset and Quality Performance Indicators for Pain Services Project aims

This project is important in improving service provision for people in Scotland with chronic pain.  We have compiled:

  • A Core Minimum Dataset, containing the minimum essential information to be collected for all patients attending Pain Services in Scotland; and
  • Quality Performance Indicators, with indicative standards relating to selected aspects of service provision, which each Pain Service will be expected to meet

These will help us to provide a better understanding of the various elements of the treatment of chronic pain, at both service and patient level.

Service Level Patient Level
The prevalence and societal impact of chronic pain The availability of and access to pain services
The demographics and needs of the patient group The availability of and access to exercise and activity therapies
The effectiveness of any service provision The frequency of pharmacy reviews
The resources that will be required to address any areas for improvement The personal and societal impact of chronic pain
The frequency of pharmacy reviews The availability of and access to pain education for patients
Meaningful measurement of service quality via the QPIs  
The use of outcome measures  
Service evaluations within pain services.  
The availability of and access to exercise and activity therapies  
The structure and composition of pain services, and gaps that should be addressed  

How were the Quality Performance Indicators and Core Minimum Dataset developed?

 Core minimum dataset (CMD) is based on: 

  • Validated questionnaires
  • Best available evidence
  • Previous consultation exercise with NHS clinicians
  • Balancing the need for detail with the need for feasibility of collection
  • Other issues such as licensing costs and burden of administration were also taken into consideration when developing this dataset

The Quality Performance indicators are based on:

  • Best available evidence from research and literature review
  • Previous consultation exercise with NHS clinicians
  • The main source of evidence for these QPIs is SIGN 136 and the National Prescribing Strategy

In addition, the QPI's were modelled against the four levels of the Scottish Service Model. One of the aims of this project is to reduce the number of patients that use higher level services (e.g. level four services) by implementing more consistent standards at all other levels, and thus to improve efficiency of resource use.

You can see full details of the consultation in the pdf document.

QUantifying the Impact of Chronic pain on engagement in paid worK (QUICK) study

The QUICK study team are currently looking for support to help boost recruitment on their study, particular employers, researchers and policy workers.

The QUICK Study (QUantifying the Impact of Chronic pain on engagement in paid work) is aiming to develop a new research instrument to assess the impact of chronic pain on people’s work. We are currently running a series of focus groups to get patients’ and key stakeholders’ perspectives on how well existing identified instruments and existing qualitative research address people’s experiences of the impacts of chronic pain on work. For our stakeholder focus groups, we are looking for researchers, healthcare professionals, employers, and people who work in the policy setting who have an interest in work-related issues for people with chronic pain/long term conditions and who are based in the UK.

Scottish Pain Research Community 11th Annual Meeting (SPaRC ASM) - video recordings

Welcome Address and Update on National Developments in Chronic Pain

Professor Lesley Colvin; Nicola Rhind



Arthritis Pain: In the balance?

Professor David Walsh



The Role of Executive Functioning Skills in Understanding Chronic Pain Experiences in Adolescents: A pilot study

Dr Line Caes



Clinical Decision Tools for the Assessment of Acceptance of Chronic Pain in Adults: A systematic scoping review

Cassandra MacGregor



Tolerance of Endogenous Opioid Tone Promotes the Development of Persistent Hypersensitivity

Samuel Singleton



Update on National Primary Care Developments in Chronic Pain

Dr Kieran Dinwoodie



Assessing the Association of SIGN136: Management of chronic pain on opioid prescribing rates in Scottish primary health care

Dr Harry Herbert



Sex Differences in the Temporal Relay of Nociceptive Signals 

Dr Carol Torsney



Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) Session: Pain, people and place

Angela Donaldson-Bruce; Audrey Birt



Datablitz Presentations



What is the Association Between Childhood Adversity and Chronic Pain in Adult Life? A Systematic Review and Analysis

Dr Karen Nicolson 



Findings in Nerve and Brain, and Closing Remarks

Professor Claudia Sommer; Professor Lesley Colvin


Successes to date

  • A successful proposal to the Scottish Intercollegiate Guideline Network (SIGN) to produce the first SIGN guideline on chronic pain assessment and management. SIGN Guideline development group established (Chair L Colvin). SIGN Guideline 136: Management of Chronic Pain was completed on time (Dec 2013), and has been well received
  • Annual Scientific Meetings: the aim of these is to further the above aims, to showcase Scottish pain research and to develop a strong network of pain researchers in Scotland. We have held seven Annual Scientific Meetings (March 2011 - 2017) to date. These have been attended by around 100 delegates on each occasion, and have allowed presentation of current and recent Scottish research on pain. We have also had keynote lectures from internationally renowned pain specialists, including 5 presidents of the main international pain organisation - the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP). This has also generated international interest in developments in Scottish Pain Services, with an invited article in the IASP newsletter last year. Discussions arising from these ASMs have led directly to successful research funding applications
  • Filling research gaps identified by SIGN 136. One of these was the use of opioids for chronic pain, an area of growing concern. Through SPaRC, a successful collaboration gained CSO funding to study this. This project is now complete, with a number of presentations at international meetings, and publications in preparation, plus further funding applications in progress to extend this work

Past events

NRS Pain/SPaRC 2023 Annual Scientific Meeting

The NRS Pain/SPaRC Pain 13th Annual Scientific Meeting took place on Friday 24 November at the Apex Hotel, Dundee.

All slides, presentations and posters from the day are available for download below.

Please contact Portfolio Manager Jacqui Pearson ( if you have any additional queries.

Programme and Abstracts

Event Slides

Oral Presentations

Poster Showcase


NRS Pain/SPaRC 2022 Annual Scienific Meeting

NRS Pain/SPaRC are delighted to announce their 12th Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM), which will be a hybrid event, taking place Friday 28 October, at the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh.

The Scandinavian Association for the Study of Pain (SASP), Early Career Research prize winners will also be invited to present at the 12th ASM.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided for all our in-person delegates. 

In person tickets will be limited, so please be sure to register your interest early, if you wish to attend in person on the day!


NRS Pain /  SPaRC 2021 Virtual Conference 

The NRS Pain / SPaRC 11th Annual Scientific Meeting took place on Friday 10 September 2021 via Hopin.



NRS Pain / SPARC 10th Annual Scientific Meeting