Access to and Availability of Non-Pharmacological Treatment of Chronic Non-Cancer Pain in Canada - An Environmental Scan


Chronic pain (i.e., pain persisting for three months or longer) is estimated to affect up to 25% of adults in Canada. Opioids are one of the mainstay treatment options for chronic pain, but there are risks associated with their use. The opioid crisis has highlighted the need to identify optimal strategies for the management of chronic pain. Canadian initiatives and guidelines aimed at improving appropriate use of opioids have had varying degrees of success and adherence. One challenge is the lack of clear treatment alternatives, as well as barriers to implementation of programs offering non-opioid medications and non-pharmacological strategies, despite guidance indicating that non-opioid treatments should be favoured in appropriate circumstances. Understanding the issues that affect availability and accessibility of non-pharmacological therapies for chronic pain in Canada may help in better integrating these therapies into treatment approaches. 

To better understand these challenges and opportunities, CADTH is conducting an Environmental Scan on the current context of non-pharmacological treatment of pain in Canada. This scan also supports broader CADTH Opioid Working Group strategies and is being led by CADTH in collaboration with researchers from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)– Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) Chronic Pain Network

The key objectives of this project are:

  1. To describe the current context (i.e., available public and private services; guidance for use; level of access, use, and integration in treatment pathways; types of providers; treatment settings) around non-pharmacological treatment of chronic non-cancer pain in Canadian jurisdictions.
  2. To describe the Canadian funding practices related to non-pharmacological therapies for chronic non-cancer pain.
  3. To identify the barriers and facilitators to accessing non-pharmacological therapies for chronic non-cancer pain in Canada.


Your feedback from this questionnaire will help us to understand the availability and access to non-pharmacological treatment of chronic non-cancer pain in Canada.    

The survey will take approximately 30 minutes to complete.

Please respond only to the questions that are relevant to your experience. If you have any questions, please contact Bert Dolcine, Program Development Officer, at