Chronic Pain added to the International Classification of Diseases

I am writing with some exciting news: the World Health Organization (WHO) has adopted the 11th version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) which includes a new classification system for chronic pain.

This revision is a milestone achievement for IASP and the direct result of six years of hard work by the IASP Task Force.

The Task Force, chaired by IASP Past President and WHO Liaison, Rolf-Detlef Treede, Dr. Med, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany, and co-chair Winfried Rief, Prof. Dr., Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany, worked tirelessly in collaboration with the WHO to bring this initiative to fruition. The decision to adopt ICD-11 was made at the World Health Assembly on 25 May 2019.

For the first time ever, ICD includes diagnostic codes for chronic pain along with codes for the most common and clinically relevant groups of chronic pain conditions. ICD-11 will transform patient care and pain research worldwide by facilitating multimodal pain treatment and boosting efforts to measure the quality and effectiveness of care and new research on the prevalence and effects of chronic pain.

I thank the IASP Task Force for its hard work as well as IASP Special Interest Groups and national chapters for their contributions to ICD-11 and their overall support of this endeavor. The IASP Task Force looks forward to continue working with our 96 chapters globally and their governments to implement ICD-11 and with it, the new pain codes.

IASP has prepared a press release about the adoption of ICD-11 that can be viewed, downloaded, and shared hereWHO has also published a press release that is available here. I encourage you to help us spread the word about this incredible achievement.

Finally, I’d like to thank you for your membership. Your involvement with IASP and commitment to the field of pain science enables us to further the mission of IASP and provide a real impact on patient care, healthcare policy, and pain research that ultimately leads to improved quality of life for millions of pain patients worldwide. The international pain community is stronger together and stronger with you.


Lars Arendt-Nielsen, Dr. Med., PhD

Lars Arendt-Nielsen, Dr. Med., PhD
IASP President

International Association for the Study of Pain
1510 H Street N.W., Suite 600, Washington, D.C. 20005-1020, USA
Contact IASP: Tel +1.202.856.7400 | Fax +1.202.856.7401 |



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