Pain Communication in Romantic Relationships: study via online survey

Hi there,

Remember when I created a survey for people with chronic pain and their partners to compile data and anecdotal information about the pain-related things that can help or hinder our close relationships?

Me either, barely. That was a long time ago and once I received the data I had no idea what to do next, so the survey results sat on my desk for a couple of years before I put them in a drawer. But I was struck by the number of participants who reported unsupportive partners and difficulty being honest about their pain for a whole host of reasons, which was my inspiration for the post A Letter to Anyone Who Feels Less Loveable Because of Migraine.

This week, I came across someone doing outreach for a real, bonafide study on this very topic! Hooray! This just goes to show that if you give up on something long enough, someone more qualified will surely come along and do a better job anyway.

If you are in a romantic relationship, and live with chronic pain that is not caused by a terminal illness, please consider participating in this study led by Natalie Rosen at Dalhousie University:

*Goals for Pain Communication in Romantic Relationships*


Purpose and outline of the research study:

We are conducting a survey of individuals with pain. We hope to learn about some of the reasons that encourage or discourage individuals with pain to communicate their pain to their romantic partner. We are also interested in how these reasons are related to evaluations of the relationship, romantic partners’ responses to the pain, and the general well-being of individuals with pain.

Who can take part in the research study?

To be eligible to participate, participants must meet the following:

  1. Experience pain on most days for at least 6 months
  2. Pain is not caused by a terminal illness such as cancer
  3. Be 18 years of age or older
  4. Be currently involved in a romantic relationship
  5. Be a resident of Canada or the United States
  6. Be able to read and understand English

This study aims to be inclusive to individuals of all gender identities, bodies, and orientations.Eligibility screening will be done before you start the survey. If you are not eligible you will not be able to complete the study. Your screening data will be deleted. 350 people will complete our study.


  1. Thanks a lot for writing this post and thanks every one who consider participating in this online study. Looking forward to share the results with you all.

  2. Anonymous · · Reply

    Sorry to hear that cancer patients with chronic pain are not eligible. It still affects some people. They may be well looking on the outside but the day to day chronic pain is still very real.

    1. Thanks for your comment, You are very right. Pain in cancer patients is a big issue and has great impact on patients’ life. However, in doing research it is always suggested to study the impacts of pain on cancer patients separately. Hopefully, this study will be replicated among patients with Cancer as well.

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