[Registration Open] (Webinar) The 112th HGPI Seminar – The Frontlines of Pain Medicine: Necessary Steps for Building a Multidisciplinary System for Treating Pain (February 8, 2023)
Starting in FY2022, Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI) has been conducting a series of interviews with multi-stakeholder experts with the objective of reinforcing the medical treatment and support systems for chronic pain, a health issue that occurs due to a complex and tangled web of causes. To provide care and support that reflects the latest definition of pain, which was revised in 2020, as well as nociplastic pain, a newly-identified pain mechanism, it will be necessary to establish systems for healthcare and support that cut across disciplines in terms of medical specialties, occupations, and healthcare and welfare. For the upcoming HGPI Seminar, which is titled “The Frontlines of Pain Medicine: Necessary Steps for Building a Multidisciplinary System for Treating Pain,” we will examine issues and the ideal structure for a treatment and support system for pain, which can be a problem in many diseases.
It has been reported that chronic pain affects 22.5% of the adult population in Japan, which is approximately 23.15 million people. Lower back and shoulder pain are the most prevalent forms of pain in Japan and it has been estimated that chronic pain costs the Japanese economy approximately 2 trillion yen per year, mostly due to economic losses from the impact of chronic pain on the working population. Among elderly people, there are many cases in which people are certified as requiring long-term care or support due to chronic joint diseases. As Japan transitions to a super-aging society and begins to face tighter conditions surrounding social security funding and personnel shortages in healthcare and long-term care, the need to advance measures for chronic pain grows urgent.
In 2020, the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) revised its definition of pain for the first time in 41 years. The new definition emphasizes that pain does not always correspond to tissue damage, that it is highly personal, and that it is impacted by the emotions and experiences of the individual. In light of these characteristics, recent reports have shown that in addition to conventional, biological approaches, multidisciplinary interventions provided by various specialists based on the biopsychosocial (BPS) model can be effective for pain management. In Japan and a number of other countries, treatment guidelines for chronic pain recommend a wide range of interventions other than pharmacotherapy. These include educational interventions, psychotherapy, exercise therapy, and integrative medicine or complementary therapies like acupuncture and moxibustion, yoga, and meditation. Establishing a multidisciplinary system that can provide this broad variety of interventions for chronic pain treatment will require collaboration that spans medical departments, occupations, and healthcare and welfare.
Against this backdrop, the upcoming HGPI Seminar will feature Mr. Kazuro Wakazono, who represents a patient advocacy organization for people suffering from intractable chronic pain and is involved in raising awareness for measures for chronic pain; and Professor Shoji Yabuki, who has served as a leader in various efforts in this area including a model project on establishing systems for delivering chronic pain treatments. They will discuss issues related to pain, which can be an issue facing every medical department; the latest in pain science; pain treatment and support models; and issues for the future.
*Please note that this seminar is available in Japanese only. An English report of this event will be published in due course.
■ Speakers (in Japanese syllabary order):
– Shoji Yabuki (Dean, Department of Physical Therapy, School of Health Sciences, Fukushima Medical University; (Concurrent) Professor, Endowed Chair, Department of Pain Medicine, Fukushima Medical University; (Concurrent) Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Fukushima Medical University)
– Kazuho Wakazono (Representative Director, the Goodbye Pain Patient Support Organization for Intractable Neuropathic Pain)
■ Date and time: Wednesday, February 8, 2023; 18:30 – 20:00 JST
■ Format: Online (Zoom webinar)
■ Language: Japanese
■ Participation fee: Free
■ Capacity: 500
Shoji Yabuki (Dean, Department of Physical Therapy, School of Health Sciences, Fukushima Medical University; (Concurrent) Professor, Endowed Chair, Department of Pain Medicine, Fukushima Medical University; (Concurrent) Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Fukushima Medical University)
After graduating from the School of Medicine at Fukushima Medical University, Professor Shoji Yabuki joined the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at that same university. He then visited Gothenburg, Sweden, where he studied at Gothenburg University. He was later appointed to various positions including Head of Orthopedic Surgery, Fukushima Prefectural Tsukitakata Hospital; Visiting Professor, University of California, San Diego; Associate Professor, School of Medicine, Fukushima Medical University; and Director, Rehabilitation Center, Fukushima Medical University Hospital (until June 2014). His current roles include Professor of Orthopedics, School of Medicine, Fukushima Medical University (since 2011); Professor, Endowed Chair, Department of Pain Medicine, School of Medicine, Fukushima Medical University (since 2015); and Dean, Department of Physical Therapy, School of Health Sciences, Fukushima Medical University (since 2021).
In 2022, he was appointed head of the research team on the “Study on Improving Healthcare Through Equity in the Chronic Pain Treatment System Centered on Pain Clinics and the Utilization of Medical Databases.”
Professor Yabuki has served as a committee member or board member at a number of academic societies. His current positions include Board Member, the Japanese Association for the Study of Pain; President, the Japanese Association for the Study of Musculoskeletal Pain; and Secretary, Tohoku Region, the Japanese Association for Rehabilitation Medicine.
Kazuho Wakazono (Representative Director, the Goodbye Pain Patient Support Organization for Intractable Neuropathic Pain)
Mr. Kazuho Wakazono began serving as a teacher at a public elementary school in Gifu Prefecture in 1981. In 2011, while still teaching, he founded an organization called the National Association for Patients with Chronic Pain After Spinal Cord Injury, which he serves as Representative. In 2013, he retired from teaching early to focus on his efforts to achieve better healthcare for chronic pain and became Representative Director of the Goodbye Pain Patient Support Organization for Intractable Neuropathic Pain. He also served as Representative of the Japan Hemp Council in the Study Group on Countermeasures Against Marijuana and Other Drugs in 2021, a role in which he continues to work to protect Japan’s hemp culture while preventing drug abuse.