PAIN in Survivors of Intensive Care Units (PAIN-ICU) Study: A Multicentre, Prospective, Observational Cohort Study

PAIN in Survivors of Intensive Care Units (PAIN-ICU) Study: A Multicentre, Prospective, Observational Cohort Study


CIA: Dr Ben Moran

Project summary

Pain is ubiquitous in critically ill patients with over 50 per cent of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) survivors recalling moderate to severe pain during their ICU admission. The incidence of moderate to severe pain at rest for both medical and surgical ICU patients is 51 per cent. Treatment of acute pain within the ICU can lead to improved outcomes and decreased length of ICU intervention, whilst inadequate analgesia can lead to chronic physical and psychological morbidity.

Improvements in the management of critically ill patients have resulted in improved survival. However, these survivors are at an increased risk of cognitive, psychiatric, and physical disability, including chronic post-ICU pain (CPIP). The incidence of CPIP ranges from 17.7 to 74 per cent. Such diverse estimates are explained by different cohorts, study locations, definitions of CPIP, timeframes of evaluation and study design. There is also disparity about and focus on potentially modifiable causal factors.

This research project aims to determine the incidence of chronic pain in patients six months after being discharged from intensive care.  The outcomes of this study will determine potential modifiable causal factors for CPIP that will enable targeted therapeutic interventions and hence, clinical trials that could potentially reduce the incidence of chronic pain in ICU survivors.  Even a modest reduction in the incidence of chronic pain would have profound effects in the long-term outcomes of patients with a reduction in the burden to the individuals and the community. 

Chief investigators

Dr Ben Moran, Gosford Hospital, NSW
Professor John Myburgh, The George Institute of Global Health, NSW
Professor David A Scott, St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne
Associate Professor Elizabeth Holliday, Hunter Medical Research Institute, NSW


The project was awarded $A70,000 funding through the ANZCA research grants program for 2023.   

Last updated 12:07 8.12.2022