Opioid-related social stigma in the context of chronic pain: An interdisciplinary investigation.

01 January 2023 → 31 December 2026
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Social sciences
    • Health psychology
    • Medical anthropology
    • Sociology of health
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Pain medicine anaesthesiology
    • Clinical pharmacy
Patient Stigma Opioid medication Social stigma Public stigma Chronic pain
Project description

In the light of the drastic increase in prescription opioid pain medication and associated health risks for patients, myriad measures are implemented to reduce its use. Although this policy has proven successful in the US, it has also evoked a climate of stigmatization of opioid use, even in strictly monitored clinical settings. When stigma also manifests within the broader social environment of patients, this may contribute to poorer patient wellbeing and reduced treatment efficacy. However, fundamental research into the conceptualization of opioid-related stigmatization within the broader social environment of patients (i.e., society, formal network, informal network) is lacking. The proposed research project aims to conceptualize and study opioid-related stigmatization from an interdisciplinary perspective and within the different levels of the social environment of patients living with chronic pain.