An investigation of constructions of justice and injustice in chronic pain: a Q-methodological approach

McParland, Joanna; Hezseltine, Louisa; Serpell, Michael; Eccleston, Christopher and Stenner, Paul (2011). An investigation of constructions of justice and injustice in chronic pain: a Q-methodological approach. Journal of Health Psychology, 16(6) pp. 873–883.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1359105310392417

Abstract

This study used Q-methodology to explore justice-related accounts of chronic pain. Eighty participants completed the Q-sorting procedure (33 chronic pain sufferers and 47 non-pain sufferers). Analysis revealed five main factors. Three factors blame: society for poor medical and interpersonal treatment; the chronic pain sufferer for indulging in self-pity and unempathic healthcare workers for ignoring patients. A fourth factor acknowledges the unfairness of pain and encourages self-reliance. The fifth factor rejects injustice in the chronic pain discourse. Overall, there is a shared view that chronic pain brings unfair treatment, disrespect and a de-legitimization of pain. Future research ideas are suggested.

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