Department of Health

Inquiry into Women's Pain

The Inquiry into Women’s Pain will provide recommendations to inform improved models of care and service delivery for Victorian girls and women experiencing pain in the future.

women with glasses
women with glasses

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The Inquiry into Women's Pain seeks submissions from anyone with information or interest in the Inquiry into Women's Pain.

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Key messages

  • The Inquiry into Women’s Pain will provide recommendations to inform improved models of care and service delivery for Victorian girls and women experiencing pain in the future.
  • Submissions for the Inquiry into Women’s Pain open 30 January 2024.

Women face real and enduring challenges when seeking care and support for pain.

Chronic pain affects a higher proportion of girls and women than men around the world; however, women are less likely to receive treatment. Research has also shown that women generally experience more recurrent pain, more severe pain, and longer-lasting pain than men.

Medical gender bias routinely leads to a denial of pain and therefore, lack of pain relief and associated treatment for women. This occurs for various health conditions, including cardiovascular, neurological, reproductive, and autoimmune conditions.

As part of the Women’s Health and Wellbeing Program, the Inquiry into Women's Pain aims to address the challenges faced by girls and women seeking care for pain. The Inquiry into Women's Pain will provide recommendations to inform improved models of care and service delivery for Victorian girls and women experiencing pain in the future.

We will consult broadly through:

  1. Written submissions from consumers, clinicians, and health service organisations from 30 January to 31 July 2024.
  2. Engage Victoria survey in late March 2024 to hear from those with lived experience of pain, and healthcare workers who provide pain services, care and treatment.
  3. Focus groups in mid-2024 with healthcare workers, people with lived and living experience of pain, and key stakeholders.

Inquiry into Women's Pain scope

The Inquiry will report on Victorian girls and women 12 years of age and over with living and lived experience of pain and consider opportunities to improve access to treatment and care. It will:

  • provide an opportunity for girls and women from across our community to share their experiences of pain and pain management in their own words and for these experiences to be heard and acknowledged
  • listen to the experiences of girls, women and clinicians to identify the barriers and enablers when accessing care, treatment and services for pain conditions
  • describe the impact of the current service delivery system on care for pain conditions
  • identify opportunities to improve the care, treatment and services for pain conditions
  • consider appropriate models of care, service delivery frameworks, workforce skill mix and other areas requiring change
  • translate research and evidence-based interventions that address unwarranted sex and gender variations and improve the equity of outcomes relating to the access and efficacy of pain management.

The delivery of this Inquiry will be led by Safer Care Victoria, the Victorian Women's Health Advisory Council and the Pain Inquiry Sub-Committee.

A final report of the Inquiry into Women’s Pain will be delivered to the Victorian Women's Health Advisory Council by December 2024.

Reviewed 19 February 2024

Health.vic

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