Responding to the needs of people with pain during COVID-19

Providing accessible guided movement and relaxation

The COVID-19 pandemic has reduced access to many of the health and recreation services people in pain rely on to manage their health. In response, Pain BC launched a new series of free Gentle Movement @ Home videos to provide accessible and safe options for movement, relaxation and connection.





COVID-19 resource page


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Fostering community across the distance

To support physical distancing efforts, in April 2020 we moved our previously in-person Pain Support and Wellness Groups online. The free online groups allowed people across the province to build communities of support while learning about pain, pain management and coping strategies from the comfort of their homes.

Access increased

from 11 communities to province-wide

Piloting online delivery of the Making Sense of Pain class series

The pandemic presented a particular challenge for our Making Sense of Pain program, a class series for people with pain who experience marginalization, which is normally delivered in-person. Since many program participants live in poverty or have limited access to technology, Pain BC worked hard to adapt and pilot an online version of the program that would provide meaningful and accessible support for participants. Thankfully, the pilot was well-received and evaluation findings from the pilot showed the outcomes for the online program were equivalent to the in-person version of the program. Learnings from the pilot are now being applied to both online and in-person versions.


shows online delivery is as effective as in-person

Adapting professional learning

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we successfully pivoted to move four of our five workshops for health professionals online. Evaluations indicate the online version of the workshop had equivalent outcomes to the in-person format.


online workshops delivered


in-person workshop delivered


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Research partnership spotlight: Examining the impact of COVID-19 on people with pain

In 2020 we collaborated with a renowned pan-Canadian research team to launch a national study on the impact of COVID-19 and related restrictions on people living with pain in Canada. The results were published in Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the pharmacological, physical, and psychological treatments of pain: findings from the Chronic Pain & COVID-19 Pan-Canadian Study in PAIN, the journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain. The results underscored the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with pain and will inform the development of interventions to better meet their needs now and in future public health crises.


in the Journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain

Reimagining the Pain Support Line

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic the Pain Support Line was staffed by a team of trained volunteers who answered calls under the supervision of staff in the Pain BC office. In response to the growing complexity of COVID-era calls and physical distancing rules that impeded supervision of volunteers, we reimagined the PSL delivery model and hired a small team of dedicated staff social workers to support callers. The clinical skills and experience of the new staff allowed us to enhance and grow the services offered by the Pain Support Line.




support provided