Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science
Chronic pain is prevalent within the United States resulting in a significant burden on both the individual suffering from chronic pain conditions as well as society in general. Even though there has been substantial progress in both the understanding and treatment of chronic pain conditions within the past decades, it is clear that many patients remain untreated or undertreated. To make things worse, many patients who suffer from chronic pain have experienced negative stigmatization from friends and family members, healthcare providers and even pharmacists. Pain is easily recognized and believed by observers when the source of the pain is obvious, however, patients with chronic pain from an unknown source or from that which is “unseen”, can be stereotyped, devalued, discriminated against, discredited, disbelieved, and sometimes socially excluded. Curiously, with pain being recognized as a pathological state or “disease,” why is it that patients with this disease have to endure such scrutiny to a greater degree than those with other disease states such as diabetes or heart disease? With the current focus on the opioid epidemic in the United States, very little is being discussed in regard to those who live with a chronic pain condition. This article, will examine the nature of pain itself, stigma as it relates to pain patients, and whether the current focus on the opioid epidemic is increasing negative stigmatization in this population.
Boesiger J. Stigmatization of People with Chronic Pain. Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science. 2023; 5(1).
Available when accessing via a campus IP address or logged in with a University of Lynchburg email address.
Off-campus users can also use 'Off-campus Download' button above for access.