Initiative on Methods, Measurement, and Pain Assessment in Clinical Trials

The mission of the Initiative on Methods, Measurement, and Pain Assessment in Clinical Trials (IMMPACT) is to develop consensus reviews and recommendations for improving the design, execution, and interpretation of clinical trials of treatments for pain. The first IMMPACT meeting was held in November 2002, and there have been a total of sixteen consensus meetings on clinical trials of treatments for pain - fourteen on trials for chronic pain in adults, one on trials for acute pain in adults, and one on trials for pediatric acute and chronic pain. Invited participants come from academia, regulatory agencies (US Food and Drug Administration, European Medicines Agency), US National Institutes of Health, US Veterans Administration, consumer support and advocacy groups, and industry. The disciplines represented at meetings varies but has included anesthesiology, clinical pharmacology, internal medicine, law, neurology, nursing, oncology, outcomes research, psychology, rheumatology, and surgery. For all IMMPACT meetings, an attempt is made to include broad representation while limiting the size of the meeting to promote vigorous and frank discussion and debate.

IMMPACT recommendations and systematic reviews have been widely cited and have guided the design of clinical trials, other types of clinical research, and a national survey. Additional consensus meetings are planned, and research initiatives involving the assessment of pain and the design and interpretation of clinical trials are ongoing. IMMPACT has received favorable responses from all of its stakeholders, who believe that this multidisciplinary initiative has made significant contributions to improved understanding of pain and its treatment.

For additional information about IMMPACT, please contact either Robert H. Dworkin, PhD, at robert_dworkin@urmc.rochester.edu or Dennis C. Turk, PhD, at turkdc@u.washington.edu.