The IASP Classification of Chronic Pain for ICD-11: Chronic Primary Pain

Michael Nicholas; Johan W.S. Vlaeyen; Winfried Rief; Antonia Barke; Qasim Aziz; Rafael Benoliel; Milton Cohen; Stefan Evers; Maria Adele Giamberardino; Andreas Goebel; Beatrice Korwisi; Serge Perrot; Peter Svensson; Shuu-Jiun Wang; Rolf-Detlef Treede; The IASP Taskforce for the Classification of Chronic Pain


Pain. 2019;160(1):83-87. 

In This Article

Summary and Conclusion

By including a distinct CPP syndrome classification within the ICD-11, it is hoped to avoid the problems associated with previous classifications of chronic pain when the etiology is unclear, but the emotional distress and functional disability associated with such pain are very evident, as the Global Burden of Disease project has reported.[57] The availability of 6 classes of chronic secondary pain syndromes in the same classification will facilitate the distinction of pain as a disease or long-term condition from pain as a symptom,[53] as already demonstrated in a pilot field trial. This classification has clear treatment and management implications: a multimodal approach that addresses the contributing psychological, social, and biological contributors is expected to lead to better outcomes for patients with CPP diagnoses of at least moderate severity, relative to unimodal interventions alone. In chronic secondary pain syndromes, there will be additional disease-specific treatment options to be considered as well. In addition, the representation of CPP in health statistics is expected to advance public policy and research.