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Pain Research People


This group works under the direction of Professor Henry McQuay (Balliol), Professor of Pain Relief, and is based at the Churchill Hospital. Dr Andrew Moore (Balliol) continues his long-standing involvement. He edits the evidence-based newsletter Bandolier , which is produced from Pain Research with a monthly print run of 25,000 copies and with its active Internet site. Dr Moore and Dr McQuay are members of the Centre for Evidence-based Medicine.

Research group members are Phil Wiffen , Jayne Edwards , and (soon) Jodie Barden . We also have a wonderful volunteers in Ron Martin who is now close to celebrating his eleventh year helping in Pain Research. Maureen Woodford is our business manager and administrator, Carole Newton is Henry's secretary, and Maura Moore looks after Bandolier. Terrific support comes from Dr Chris Glynn , Dr Tim Jack , and Frances Fairman .


What we are doing now

The group continues its work on the Oxford Pain Relief Database which has identified over 15,000 controlled trials with pain as an outcome. The database is providing the framework for a series of systematic reviews in acute and chronic pain.

In chronic pain systematic reviews have been produced of anticonvulsants and antidepressants, intra-articular morphine, radiotherapy for bony metastases, topical NSAIDs and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation have been published. Some of these are now being updated and reviews are being done on acupuncture.

In acute pain a table of relative efficacy of analgesics is just about complete, and reviews on the use of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation in postoperative and labour pain have been published. Other reviews are being undertaken.

A lot of work has also been done in the field of migraine, with a league table for this as well.

Much work has been done in collaboration with Dr David Gavaghan (Computing Laboratory) on methodological issues like placebo responses and variability in clinical trials reports in order better to understand the fundamental principles of analgesic trials, and their meta-analysis.

Phil and Frances run the Cochrane Collaboration group on Pain, Palliative and supportive care (PaPaS) and an IASP special interest group on systematic reviews.


Active collaboration with our colleagues in Europe (see below) is a rich source of new ideas.


Phil Wiffen (NHSE South East Regional Pharmaceutical Advisor) is based in Pain Research. He is actively helping to organise a Cochrane Collaborative Review group on Pain, Palliative and Supportive Care. He is also a key link in the nascent IASP special interest group on Systematic Reviews in Pain Relief.


Jayne Edward s (formerly with David Sackett) has finished her DPhil research (Balliol College) in the area of adverse events systematic reviews (BBSRC in conjunction with SmithKline Beecham). Among her other claims to fame Jayne has been involved with the first (so far as we know) systematic review of a new pharmaceutical product to be published before launch.


Frances Fairman has the task of keeping PaPaS on an even keel, dealing with all the good folk who want to do reviews or help in other ways in the Cochrane Collaboration.


Past members

Dawn Carroll has obtained her BA with honours from Oxford Brookes University and undertook the Masters course in EBM at Oxford University. Dawn was involved with neurosurgical interventions for pain relief with a team at the Radcliffe Infirmary, and is a whizz at digital photography in the operating theatre. She is now with Pfizer.

Alex Jadad (Balliol) came from Colombia, did some massively exciting stuff here around some of the basics in EBM, and then went off to McMaster and now Toronto.

Martin Tramèr (Balliol) came from Geneva, did terrific stuff on nausea and vomiting as well as researching into the evidence base of adverse events, and is now back in Geneva.

Sally Collins is now a medical student in Oxford. She spent two years with us as a research assistant and when we can, we tempt her back for special projects. Sally, with Clara from Alicante, has done some special work on reviews of clinical pharmacology of morphine

Lesley Smith recently completed her PhD in neuropharmacology at Oxford Brookes University and did systematic reviews in some areas like migraine and the epidemiology of chronic pain conditions. She also worked to develop the Bandolier complementary and migraine sites. She is now working with Jon Deeks at the Institute of Health Sciences.

Anna Oldman completed her DPhil in clinical psychopharmacology at the Warneford Hospital. She was the principal driver for the Oxford Pain Internet site, and made major contributions to the complementary and alternative therapy site.


Collaborators and frequent visitors are:

Tony Dickenson (University College Hospital, London)
Chris Eccleston (University of Bath)
Clara Faura (Alicante, Spain)
Alex Jadad (Balliol: Hamilton, Canada)
Eija Kalso (Helsinki, Finland)
Kate Seers (Health Services Research, Oxford)
Martin Tramèr (Geneva)
Amanda Williams (St Thomas' Hospital, London)