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

J McParland, L Hezseltine, M Serpell, Christopher Eccleston, P Stenner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)873-883
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Health Psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011



  • justice
  • chronic pain
  • injustice
  • Q-methodology

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