The Pain Group

The Pain Group studies management of acute and chronic non –malignant pain conditions in addiction to cancer-related pain with a focus on morphine analgesics (opioids).

Several group members are also actively involved in the study of malignant pain within Pain and Palliation Research Group and the PRC (European Palliative Research Centre).

The group has multidisciplinary and collaborator approach to pain management research. This includes molecular biology/genetics, experimental pharmacological studies in volunteers and patients, controlled clinical studies, and epidemiology/pharmacoepidemiology.

Opioids and pain have been the primary focus, but also other pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches including vocational rehabilitation of patients in pain, are addressed.

Important research findings

  • Less than 1% of the population persistently uses opioids depending on definition. However, 60% of these also use benzodiazepines persistently. These important findings are based on pharmaco-epidemiological studies using the NOR-PD (Norwegian Prescription Database), which includes information on all prescriptions from all Norwegian pharmacies since 2004.
  • Physical activity reduces the prevalence of chronic pain, particularly in elderly women. The Pain in HUNT study also showed, ta four year follow up of HUNT 3 in about 4000 participants, that the prevalence of chronic significant pain is about 30 %, and that this pain is stable in individuals followed for 12 months.
  • No particular SNPs being responsible for inter individual variation in opioid consumption in cancer pain patients was found in the European Pharmaco-genetic Opioid Study. However, the study may have detected SNPs in non-opioid pathways of relevance. EPOS has generated many publications.
  • Therapeutic hypothermia (TH) for 24 h after successful cardiac resuscitation reduces the clearance of morphine, propofol and fentanyl, but not of midazolam. The sedative/analgesic combination propofol/remifentanil has a shorter wake up-time than midazolam/fentanyl. The use of the platelet inhibitor clopidogrel during TH is not supported.
  • Nasal fentanyl was shown to have favorable pharmacokinetics for treatment of break-through cancer pain. It is now licensed for this indication. Studies for other indications are ongoing
  • Chronic postsurgical pain (CPSP) has a negative effect on health-related quality of life. The prevalence of CPSP in patients undergoing cardiac surgery was 11% after 6 and 12 months and declines further to 4% after five years.

Important collaborators


Updated Mon, 26 Nov 2012 13:03:37 +0100

Pain - Illustration/PHOTO - NTNU


Group members: