A large proportion of the Swedish population suffer from chronic pain. Some experience pain as a consequence of illness or injury, while for others the pain is considered to be a medically unexplained symptom. The focus of this project is not to reveal the underlying causes of pain, but rather to address the fact that pain might lead to disability, long periods of sick listing or permanent disability pension. Women are more often diagnosed with chronic pain and are sick listed for longer periods compared with men.
Previous research has shown that the approaches of health providers and social security officers may impact the length of the periods people are on sick leave. The way that welfare authorities function and their quality of service delivery are some important aspects in better understandings of sick listing-rates as well as how these change over time.
The main purpose of this research is to improve our understanding of how expectations might impact the well-being and work ability among patients with chronic pain, and especially the potential gendered aspects in this subject area. Main frameworks underpinning this project include theories on patient-centred care, motivation, gender as well as studies on factors that shape how prodessionals deliver welfare services. We aim to explore how these factors interact, and more concretely, what expectations health providers and social security officers have on pain patients. We will also study pain patients’ own expectations and how these develop in interaction between patients, health providers and social security officers.
This is an interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers in political science and psychology and the project is funded by AFA Insurance (AFA Försäkringar).
Researchers on the project
Emma Bäck, projektledare, Psykologiska institutionen, Göteborgs universitet
Hanna Bäck, Statsvetenskapliga institutionen, Lunds universitet
Tove Lundberg, psykolog, Statsvetenskapliga institutionen, Lunds universitet
Stina Melander, Statsvetenskapliga institutionen, Lunds universitet
Marie Gustafsson Sendén, Psykologiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet