Pain and Palliative Care Research Group

This is a multidisciplinary group, which  includes different specialties. We aim at producing evidence within the fields of chronic pain and palliative care. 

Main research areas

Palliative care in patients with malignant and non-malignant diseases

There has been growing awareness of the importance of providing palliative care to patients with cancer and other progressing chronic diseases not only at the end stage of disease trajectory, but also in earlier phases. This research area aims to provide knowledge regarding palliative needs of patients and their relatives/caregivers in order to develop and implement interventions and patient-centered care pathways to provide better care and support to them. Improvement of quality of life by provision of symptom management, and a holistic approach to relief of suffering are included in the aims.  

Pain epidemiology, assessment and management​

This area of research can provide significant information for clinicians and decision-makers to prevent and treat chronic non-cancer pain. Epidemiologic profiles of the population, identification of risk factors for chronic pain, and trends on prescribed opioid consumption in Denmark are investigated. Generated information can lead to development of evidence-based medicine, future clinical guidelines and target areas of preventive medicine.

Effects of long-term treatment with opioids
The increased frequency of prescribing opioids for chronic non-cancer pain has raised other issues, such as iatrogenic adverse effects, which may also occur in patients with cancer pain on long‑term opioid therapy. This research area aims to investigate the effects and consequences of long-term opioids treatment as suppression of immune and endocrine systems, cognitive dysfunction, and opioid misuse.

Systematic reviews for evidence-based practice
We have also focused on the development of systematic reviews, which aim to improve the consistency of treatment and care by offering evidence-based consensus regarding interventions of proved benefit and by discouraging ineffective ones. The systematic reviews have contributed to clinical guidelines, which can also influence public policy, calling for attention to underrecognized health problems, insufficient services, preventive interventions and advocate better delivery of services to those in need.


  • Novo Nordisk Foundation
  • Kræftens Bekæmpelse
  • EU Horizon

Current team members 

  • Suzanne Forsyth Herling (Associate Professor, PhD)
  • Camilla Charlotte Lykke (Post-doctor nurse, PhD)
  • Mark Puch Ørnskov (PhD student, MNSc)
  • Per Sjøgren (DMSc)​

Key collaborators

Pain and Palliative Care Research Group

  • Ola Ekholm
  • Rikke Skjøde Baes
  • Rune Vedelsdal
  • Henrik Larsen
  • Ulla Breitenstein Mathiesen
  • Ulrik Lassen
  • Helle Pappot​

Responsible editor