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Pain research sub-themes

Chronic pain is the third largest cause of illness related disability for New Zealanders. The prevalence of chronic pain makes it a major health issue and a critical public health problem internationally in terms of disability adjusted life years. Chronic pain creates a health care cost burden, loss of productivity in the workplace, and has a significant impact on daily wellbeing.

Our research aims to address the mechanisms behind the management of chronic pain using four sub-themes.

Understanding mechanisms of pain

Research areas

Central and peripheral mechanisms including molecular (inflammation, genetics, genomics) and brain mechanisms (brain imaging), also targeting hormones and cannabinoid receptors.

Disciplines

  • Anatomy
  • Dentistry
  • Pathology
  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiotherapy
  • Surgical Sciences

Predictors of pain chronicity

Research areas

Psychosocial factors, cultural aspects, and pain behaviour. Brain adaptations and activity, and brain connectivity changes.

Disciplines

  • Anaesthesia
  • Physiotherapy
  • Preventive and Social Medicine
  • Psychology
  • Surgical Sciences
  • Psychological Medicine

Management of pain

Research areas

Physiotherapy, psychological aspects, lifestyle, and anaesthesia. Pharmacological, and surgical approaches.

Disciplines

  • Anaesthesia
  • Pharmacy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Psychological Medicine
  • Surgical Sciences
  • Women’s and Children’s Health

Pain education and curriculum

Research areas

Pain competencies for health professionals, awareness about pain among patients and our general population. Pain curriculum and health professional programmes.

Disciplines

  • Anaesthesia
  • General Practice
  • Physiotherapy
  • Population Health
  • Psychology
  • Psychological Medicine