International Association for the Study of Pain

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International Association for the Study of Pain
Abbreviation IASP
Formation 1973
Type Nongovernmental organization
Purpose Scientific research and clinical translation
Headquarters Washington, DC
Coordinates Coordinates: Maps 38°54′01″N 77°02′04″W / 38.900385°N 77.034312°W / 38.900385; -77.034312
Region served
Official language
Judith A. Turner, PhD

The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP)[1] is an international learned society promoting research, education, and policies for the understanding, prevention, and treatment of pain. IASP was founded in 1973 under the leadership of John J. Bonica.[2] Its secretariat, formerly based in Seattle, Washington is now located in Washington, DC. It publishes the scientific journal PAIN[3], PAIN Reports[4] and PAIN: Clinical Updates.[5] IASP currently has more than 7,200 members from 133 countries and in 94 chapters worldwide. IASP supports 20 Special Interest Groups (SIGs)[6] which members may join to network and collaborate with others in their specific field of research or practice.

The IASP definition of pain as "an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage"[7] is derived from a 1964 definition by Harold Merskey,[8] and it was first published in 1979 by IASP in PAIN, number 6, page 250.

Global Year Against Pain[edit]

In 2004, supported by various IASP chapters and federations holding their own local events and activities worldwide, IASP initiated its first "Global Year Against Pain"[9] with the motto "The Relief of Pain Should be a Human Right".[10] Every year, the focus is on another aspect of pain.

  • 2018 Global Year for Excellence in Pain Education
  • 2017 Global Year Against Pain After Surgery
  • 2016 Global Year Against Pain in the Joints
  • 2014–2015 Neuropathic Pain
  • 2013–2014 Orofacial Pain
  • 2012–2013 Visceral Pain
  • 2011–2012 Headache
  • 2010–2011 Acute Pain
  • 2009–2010 Musculoskeletal Pain
  • 2008–2009 Cancer Pain
  • 2007–2008 Pain in Women
  • 2006–2007 Pain in Older Persons
  • 2005–2006 Pain in Children
  • 2004–2005 Right to Pain Relief

World Congress on Pain[edit]

IASP hosts the biennial World Congress on Pain,[11] the world’s largest premier pain-related gathering, is international and multidisciplinary. The program comprises plenary sessions, workshops, poster sessions, and refresher courses, and attendees may receive continuing medical education credits. The 17th World Congress on Pain[12] takes place in Boston, Massachusetts on September 12–16, 2018.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP)". 
  2. ^ Bonica, John J. "Founder of IASP". 
  3. ^ PAIN Journal
  4. ^ PAIN Reports
  5. ^ PAIN: Clinical Updates
  6. ^ "Special Interest Groups (SIGs)". 
  7. ^ IASP Pain Terminology
  8. ^ "An unpleasant experience that we primarily associate with tissue damage or describe in terms of tissue damage or both." Merskey, H. (1964), An Investigation of Pain in Psychological Illness, DM Thesis, Oxford.
  9. ^ Global Year Against Pain
  10. ^ 1st Global Year Against Pain
  11. ^ "World Congress on Pain". 
  12. ^ "17th World Congress on Pain". 

External links[edit]