Finnish Association for the Study of Pain
Ethical, medical, economical and legal reasons provide the basis for the treatment of pain. Scientific knowledge on the mechanisms of pain and pain management is increasing. Access to adequate treatment of pain is a basic right of all citizens. While the expertise for biopsychosocial assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of individuals with pain is available on a national level in Finland, resources still vary locally.
Finnish Association for the Study of Pain (FASP) was founded in 1996 as a multi-professional organization to promote multidisciplinary research and treatment of pain in Finland. Other objectives of the organization are to increase awareness of pain within the general public, health care professionals and policymakers, to legitimate diseases associated with pain, and to improve the education and working conditions of professionals working with pain patients.
There were 1050 regular members in FASP at the end of the year 2017. These were physicians of various disciplines, dentists, psychologists, nurses, physical therapists, social workers and other professionals.
FASP organizes a two-day symposium on a pain-related topic each spring with the annual meeting. The framework of this educational event is multiprofessional. Other annual educational events include a two-day symposium on Acute pain and Cancer pain. FASP also collaborates with several other medical and health care organizations and associations to provide pain education.
On the original initiative of FASP, a qualified certification for pain management has become available for pursuit for medical and dental specialist physicians in Finland. Likewise, specializing training programs in pain management for psychologists and nurses are ongoing. Similar programs for physical therapists and practical nurses are in preparation.
FASP and its individual members have been active in several national projects to promote the management of patients with pain in the society. These include the preparation and implementation of the National criteria for the non-urgent treatment of pain which were launched by the Finnish government (2007) and the preparation of reform of legislation for the assessment of degree of disability (2010).
FASP became a national chapter of IASP in August 2010 and thereafter joined EFIC. Collaboration with SASP is also frequent. FASP has endorsed the scientific framework of SIP and we see increasing the awareness of improved pain management as one of the key challenges of FASP in the future.