Alberta Pain Strategy

Helping Albertans manage pain across their lifespan

two people walking down road

The Alberta Pain Strategy (2019-2024) outlines a coordinated, provincial approach to help Albertans manage pain across their lifespan.

The strategy was developed by a multi-stakeholder group led by Alberta Health Services’ Strategic Clinical Networks (SCNs) and the Pain Society of Alberta. More than 360 healthcare providers, administrators, researchers, patients and families from across Alberta came together, shared their knowledge, experience and perspectives, and contributed to the development of the strategy over two years (Dec 2017 to Oct 2019).

Alberta Pain Strategy    Executive Summary    APS At-a-Glance    Contributors

Focus Areas

With an overall vision of achieving excellence in pain management across the lifespan for all Albertans, the Alberta Pain Strategy (APS) focuses on three main areas:

  • Acute Pain - Support individuals, their families/caregivers, and providers in the optimal management of acute pain.
  • Chronic Pain - Support people living with chronic pain, their families/caregivers, and providers to optimize management of chronic pain and its effects on function and quality of life.
  • Opioid Use in Pain Management - Respond to the opioid crisis by reducing opioid use dependency, decreasing opioid use frequency, and examining the appropriateness of opioid use in pain management for patients living with acute and chronic pain.

Progress to Date



  • Received Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) Health System Impact Fellowship to develop and evaluate a provincial model for chronic pain
  • Received CanWest grant to determine implementation feasibility of using the Manage My Pain application in surgical settings


  • Working groups created to focus on optimal prescribing; perioperative pain management; education; models of care; interdisciplinary access; outcome measures; and transitional pain.


  • Provincial steering committee launched (interdisciplinary)
    Responsible for leading the implementation of the priorities outlined in the APS
  • Alberta Pain Research Network (APRN) launched
    Responsible for continuing and strengthening research in pain management, specifically in the area of acute pain, pain in chronic diseases, opioid and non-opioid use in pain management, pediatric pain, and the impact of pain on health care delivery and policy.
  • Received grant from Health Canada Substance Use and Addictions Program focused on opioid care pathways, education, and knowledge translation, primarily in the perioperative pain management setting.