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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.

Broad areas of Pain research strengths at Otago

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.

Predictors of pain chronicity

Research areas

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

Management of pain

Research areas

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

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.