One of the main objectives of ALGOS is to improve the quality of life of children and adolescents suffering from chronic pain, as well as that of their parents and carers. A large part of our work focuses on achieving this objective, which led us to organise symposiums dedicated to the study and treatment of pediatric pain in 2007. Our goals were, firstly, to make the public aware of the problem, and secondly, to create a space in which different professionals and researchers in the sector could share ideas and collaborate, to achieve a better quality of life for these children and adolescents.
In late May 2013, the ALGOS group organised the Fourth International Symposium on Pediatric Pain.
In general, it can be said that a significant part of the child population experiences chronic pain problems. However, chronic pain in children does not receive the attention that it deserves. The World Health Organisation recognises that pediatric pain is not being adequately treated; it warns of a lack of protocols specifically developed for this population and asks for a more dedicated effort from politicians and specialists.
The lack of attention to pain problems in children in Spain is reflected in the fact that whilst we have a good number of units to attend to cases of chronic pain in adults, we do not have units of similar sizes or characteristics to treat chronic pain in children. And this is true of most of the countries in our area.
The objectives of the Fourth Symposium are to approach issues related to evaluating and treating pain in children and adolescents, to present the advances made in recent years, and to showcase the different resources available to confront these problems.
A variety of professionals and disciplines converge in the study and treatment of pediatric pain. One of the defining features and key motivations for these symposiums has always been promoting professional collaboration and fostering an interdisciplinary approach to pain in children and adolescents. To a great extent, the approach reflects an idea that underlies the organisation of these symposiums: together we can do more and better things than we could ever do alone. And that foundation can be seen in the symposium’s motto: different perspectives, one purpose. Ultimately, it is all about encouraging the study and treatment of pediatric pain in order to contribute to a better quality of life for all those involved, for the children and also for their families.
As on previous occasions, these symposiums are organised by ALGOS (a multi-disciplinary group focused on researching pain), but other groups, researchers and stakeholders are also involved. We trust that this year’s symposium will remain a source of interest for clinicians and researchers.
We look forward to seeing you on 30 and 31 May in Tarragona.