Insel Pain Centre

Managing pain is an important aspect of the care of patients treated in a hospital. According to a 2018 research study published by Dusek et al., “The need for pain management in hospitals is not limited to specific populations such as cancer or postsurgical patients, but rather is a widespread challenge across inpatient populations, with potential short- and long-term impacts on patient outcomes, patient experiences, and hospital costs.”


Pain management covers a broad spectrum from reducing to relieving to preventing pain. In September 2016, a new Pain Centre (Schmerzzentrum) was founded at the Bern University Hospital (Inselspital), allowing outpatients with pain to come to a single location for interdisciplinary care.

Improving patient care is the goal of pain research conducted in the Department of Anaesthesiology and Pain Medicine. This research began with a focus on central pain processing and sensitization, as well as studies on interventional pain procedures. The founding of the Inselspital’s Pain Center in 2016 has broadened this focus to include interdisciplinary pain research projects in multiple collaborations. A number of the department’s research groups are involved in clinical as well as experimental pain research. These include Anaesthetic Pharmacology, Genetics and Molecular Biology, Clinical and Molecular Pain Research, and Perioperative Optimisation for Major Urological Surgery.

Research focus

  • Clinical trials on interventional pain procedures
  • Questionnaires in chronic persistent pain
  • Influence of expectation on treatment Outcomes
  • Evaluation of Pain therapy during the COVID-19 pandemicOpioid withdrawal in pain patients
  • Chronic pain in children (e.g. treatment with cannabinoids)
  • Interdisciplinary pain research

Research group members

Florian Reisig, Dr. med.
E-Mail: florian.reisig@STOP-SPAM.insel.ch

Ilca Wilhelm, Dr. med.
E-Mail: Ilca.Wilhelm@STOP-SPAM.insel.ch 

Michael Harnik, Dr. med.
E-Mail: michael.harnik@STOP-SPAM.insel.ch

Sarah Röthlisberger
E-Mail: sarah.roethlisberger@STOP-SPAM.insel.ch