COVID-19: Social Distancing with Chronic Pain Study

This study aims to look at isolation and it has effected those with chronic pain


Researcher: Bethany Donaghy, School of Psychology

You are being invited to take part in a research study. Before you decide it is important that you understand why the research is being done and what it involves. Please take time to read the following information. Ask us if there is anything that is not clear or if you would like more information. Take time to decide if you want to take part or not.

What is the purpose of the study?

During COVID-19’s unprecedented time, there is only one thing that is certain – we must stay indoors. For much of the population, issues of feeling socially isolated have arose with various outlets seeking ways to rectify this (NHS UK, 2020). Yet, for between 1/3 to 1/2 of the population whom suffer with chronic pain (Fayaz, Croft, Langford, Donaldson & Jones, 2016), social distancing was already the norm, with many of those suffering being unable to participate in the social activities which the remaining population have now been prevented from (Smith, Dainty, Williamson & Martin, 2018; Hämmig, 2019). Which poses the question – how are the social distancing measures implemented effecting those with chronic pain?

With this being the first pandemic of the current generation whereby these unusual measures have been implemented, it is vital this time is taken as an opportunity to understand how those with chronic pain are affected. This will provide evidence to guide how those with chronic pain can be assisted in similar situations in the future, but also highlight the importance of social interactions for either facilitating, or hindering, the pain experience to aid in pain treatment when normality resumes.

Who can take part?

You will be eligible to take part in the study if:

  • You are aged 18+ at time of participation.
  • You have a chronic pain diagnosis or have been experiencing consistent pain for the past 6 months.
  • English is your first language, or you can comprehend English at a level at which you can understand, and answer questions. 

You will not be eligible to take part in the study if:

  • You have a severe neurological condition which may affect your ability to read or answer questions, for example, dyslexia. 

Click here to access study questionnaire