The Transforming Pain Research Group
The treatment of chronic pain is not only notoriously challenging, but it is also a growing problem for Canadians, for whom it is estimated that 15-30% suffer the disease. The Transforming Pain Research Group (TPRG) is developing a number of innovative computer technologies to help individuals with chronic pain manage their pain more effectively. These technologies include meditation, biofeedback, Immersive Virtual Reality, Visualization, Robotics and Social Media.
The Transforming Pain Research Group draws world-class faculty from the fields of Pain Medicine, Computer Science, Communications, and Design. Building on an extensive knowledge and research base from each of these domains, the TPRG adopts a cross-disciplinary approach to develop innovative methods to address chronic pain. The integration of these disciplines for the treatment of chronic pain is a new and growing field, both in Canada and world-wide, and the work of the TPRG is at the forefront of the field.
Researchers in the TPRG have collectively trained more than 100 graduate students, many of whom have gone on to significant positions in academia, industry, and government. Students who come into the TPRG to work on developing computerized therapies have a unique opportunity to impact Canadian healthcare and wellness fields, potentially helping to improve the quality of life for millions of people.
Computerized therapy initiatives developed by the TPRG serves as a venue to provide collaboration, training and support for a group of outstanding scholars and their students. The group is in an excellent position to support both future scholars and professionals. Graduate students have numerous opportunities for both research assistantships and independent research, as well as to collaborate with healthcare professionals in the field in order to learn firsthand the critical issues that individuals with chronic pain experience.
The TPRG has several specific strategies for providing mentorship and training opportunities to maximize retention and integration of personnel. These include Leadership Self-Management training and certification, rotation of research team meetings across the partner institutions (SFU, Calgary, UBC, York, Concordia), as well as workshops focusing on both methodological issues and multidisciplinary theoretical perspectives and approaches for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and researchers.