Please tell us about your background, your current position and how it connects to the field of pain.
I am a professor of psychology at the University of Bath in the UK where I run the Centre for Pain Research with Dr. Ed Keogh. We are interested in topics that range from non-verbal communication of pain through to how parents of children in pain can improve their child's suffering. I am particularly interested in evidence and how to answer questions like 'does it work?' or 'will it help or harm?'
What are some of the highlights of the EFIC® 2015 scientific program?
This is a unique meeting. Delegates come from across Europe and beyond to share their experience in practice and research. I am excited to see 1000 poster presentations from so many countries. Choosing the seminars was very difficult because we had to select from over 120 submissions, all of which had merit. Another highlight is in how many of the workshops and plenary sessions takes seriously the theme of the meeting in translating science in to practice.
Are there any breakthroughs or new insights that will be revealed at EFIC® 2015? Can you give a 'teaser' to the scientific program?
Everything is great in this meeting. We have asked people to be provocative. How do we deal with the growing burden of evidence? Andrew Moore helps us make the evidence practical, make it useful, make it mean something to patients. After so much investment in brain science what have we really learned? Vania Apkarian and Luana Colloca give us a state of the Art treatment of where we go next. What are the hopes for the future? In chronic pain can we reduce early exposure to risks of pain, Rebeccah Slater helps. What are our treatment options for neuropathic, cancer and musculoskeletal pain? All are covered. In the topical seminars you will find a wealth of experience and something for everyone. We have also added critical debates on important issues that are troubling many of us.
Can you express the importance of the EFIC® 2015 Congress? How is EFIC® 2015 unique and how will participants benefit from attending the Congress?
Pain does not respect geographical boundaries. Across Europe patients present complaining of pain, disability and distress. They are often fearful of what the pain might mean, hopeful of the treatment you can offer, and keen to work with you to get back to their life before pain. The languages they speak in are different but the experiences they speak about are remarkably similar. This is the premier opportunity in the meeting calendar to learn about pain practice across Europe. The best scientists and practitioners will be there. And tomorrow's leaders are hiding, waiting to be found, in the 1000 posters.
Please tell us about the significance of holding the Congress in Vienna, Austria.
Vienna is the perfect home for a major medical meeting. First of all it works. The congress centre is modern, state of the art, with excellent transport links. Second, it is a beautiful destination with great social spaces, restaurants, and opportunities to relax. And finally, one is surrounded by the history of medical science, where physiology was celebrated, modern neurology was crafted, and where psychology was accelerated and popularized. We are at home here.
Professor Christopher Eccleston
Chair of Scientific Programme Committee