Pain Concern
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Chronic pain online study: volunteers needed

Hello everyone,

I'm an undergraduate psychology student, and I'm currently busy with my final dissertation. I'm looking at how people with and without chronic pain view facial expressions of pain. I would greatly appreciate it, if you would take some time to complete my questionnaire via the link below. Also, please don't be shy in sending this on to anyone you think may be interested. I'm really interested to know what you all think about this, so any feedback is welcome in the comments.

Thank you!

10 Replies


Completed the survey but found it boring as there were to many similar face expressions and not enough choices to describe the expressions

Take care and kindest regards


1 like

agree with tettridge, towards the end I was bored, still took my mind of the pain for a while, although I now have a headache!


I'm not completing it is drove me mad


Oh no, I'm sorry to hear that it gave you a headache and drove you mad! I know it's a bit boring, downfalls of research I'm afraid. Any pointers as to how I could improve it? Thanks for this though!


Dear Psychstudent

I'm a patient and public involvement facilitator working in clinical research. My role is to get patients and the public involved in our programmes of research; I'm not sure what environment/organisation you're working in but it might be worth trying to contact your local PPI Lead orcontact Involve for assistance in how to get patient/public involvement in the future - A lot of the comments relate to the survey's content - getting some input on this would have helped you produce something that was both relevant and appropriate for you and your audience.


I tried but it went on too long, with no indication of how near I was to the end! I just couldn't finish it!


Well I took the challenge. I found it quite hard because some of them were obviously acting and we were supposed to say how much pain we thought they were in from the expression but to me most of the expressions lacked something to make it feel real. There were only a few I thought demonstrated real pain.

I also thought about my own pain levels and my expressions and tried to compare them.

It was also quite confusing - some had very peaceful faces with closed eyes - like meditating, so they could have really bad pain but weren't showing it. And without that extra info, I could only say that they didn't look in pain even though they might be.

It would be interesting to see a summary of the results.


I cannot determine how much pain a person is in from facial expressions. You need body movement as well together with knowledge of what the eyes are doing.


Sorry - I had a go as I genuinely want to help other people understand pain. But I gave up on it! I think it goes to show just how tricky it is to decide if someone is in pain or not just from looking at a still shot of facial expression. If it was little video clips of someone moving about or reading something aloud you might get more clues from their overall body language or tone of voice.

People tell me they often don't know when I'm in pain - which can be a nuisence or a bonus, depending on how I'm feeling. Other times they say they definitely know because of my eyes and I go pale.


Thanks for all the feedback! I really appreciate it, it'll be really helpful if I try to redo this study in the future. I think you're right, bodily information definitely does make a difference, and so does a moving image! (Future research here we come!). Like I said, I really appreciate all your help, and if you'd like to know the results, my email address is at the end of the study. I think I can put a progress bar into the survey, which would track your progress, that might be quite useful. Thanks everyone!


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