From Pain to Suffering: Determining the Driving Factors of Burden and Disability in Chronic Pain

Call for Registration

Interdisciplinary Conference

We are pleased to invite registrations for the interdisciplinary conference ‘From Pain to Suffering: Determining the Driving Factors of Burden and Disability in Chronic Pain’.

Conference Objective

Chronic pain is one of the most prevalent and disabling conditions worldwide. Despite the devastating impact that chronic pain can have in limiting quality of life, we still have not yet been able to provide effective strategies to alleviate its burdens and understand its nature from a scientific perspective. However, mounting evidence substantiates that persistent or recurrent pain does not neatly correspond to the suffering that accompanies it. Therefore, a promising strategy for future research is to focus less on the pain and more on the aspect of suffering itself. The aim of the proposed conference is to motivate this shift in debate, both theoretically and practically, and to prepare the ground to better understand the driving factors of the burden and disability in chronic pain. Addressing this challenge is a genuine interdisciplinary endeavour bringing together philosophers, quantitative and qualitative researchers, as well as clinical practitioners.

Thursday, 2nd of May (approx. 12:30 – 18:30)

Sabrina Coninx (VU Amsterdam): From pain to suffering: Conceptual, empirical, and clinical challenges

Michael Brady (University of Glasgow): Three theories of suffering

Fredrik Svenaeus (So derto rn University): The phenomenology of chronic pain: Embodiment and alienation

Sascha Fink (Magdeburg University): Ontologies of pain

Friday, 3rd of May (approx. 10:00 – 18:30)

Henning Reimann (Max-Delbru ck Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin): From pain to suffering: A cerebral perspective

Smadar Bustan (Institut Curie, Saint-Cloud): tba

Leonie Korban (Center for Neuroscience Research, Lyon): Social influences on pain

Christian Büchel (University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf): Mechanisms of pain modulation

Markus Ploner (Technical University Munich): EEG measures of pain and suffering

Saturday, 4th of May (approx. 10:00 – 17:00)

Susanna Asseyer (Charite Universita tsmedizin Berlin): From pain to suffering: The clinical impact of chronic pain

Stefan Büchi (University of Zurich): PRISM (Pictorial Representation of Illness and Self Measure) – A novel visual tool to assess pain-related suffering in clinical practice

Peter Stilwell (University of Southern Denmark, Odense): Alleviating pain-related suffering by restoring or reconstructing one’s sense of self

Anna-Christin Willert (Charite Universita tsmedizin Berlin): Total pain – A palliative care perspective


Participation in the conference is free of charge. Registration is open until the 21st of April 2024 via: (including the conference program).

Organization & Further Information

The conference is located in the facilities of the Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Luisenstraße 56, 10117 Berlin. Further information will be sent to all registered participants in due time. For more information, please contact

The conference is organized by:
Susanna Asseyer (Charite Universita tsmedizin Berlin)
Sabrina Coninx (Department of Philosophy, VU Amsterdam)
Henning Reimann (Max-Delbru ck Center fu r Molekulare Medizin, Berlin)

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