Pelvic Pain Support Network
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Research looking at experiences of partners of those with chronic pain

Hi all,

My name is Laura Smith and I am a trainee clinical psychologist. I’m conducting some research as part of my thesis and was hoping you could help. I’m looking at the experiences of partners of somebody with chronic pain.

So why do the research? We know that partners play a hugely influential role in supporting somebody with chronic pain and that partners can influence how well somebody with chronic pain copes. It would be beneficial therefore to understand partner’s experiences of chronic pain so that services can help support partners and help partners support the person with chronic pain.

I’m interested – what next? If you are a partner of somebody with chronic pain and you live together, you can click on the link below for more information. If you’re happy to take part then contact me on the details below and we can arrange to meet up for an interview. It will last approximately an hour although we can take as little or as much time as you like.

If you are somebody who experiences chronic pain and you think you know someone who would be interested in taking part, then please do pass this information on to them and they can contact me on the details provided.

You can follow me on twitter (@smith_smithl4)

More info can be found here:

Laura Smith

Telephone/Text: Number 07508375651


9 Replies

Some people without partners are supported by friends or family members. Will your research account for these individuals?


The research methodology I am using requires participants to be as similar as possible and therefore I will only be looking at partners for now. Hopefully, if it all goes well once I qualify I would like to expand the research to friends/family, but that would be dependent on my job releasing me to do that research.


Thanks for your response.

My concern is that your research omits carers of the chronic pain sufferers who either through choice or circumstance (death; separation - perhaps in part due to the stresses of chronic pain; inability to find a partner due to self-esteem issues relating to the pain etc.) are not in a relationship, thereby limiting the demographic of those directly and indirectly affected by this issue.

I do understand that research must follow certain protocols and methods and I wish you all the best with your project.


I understand your concerns, and in an ideal world I would include everyone. For research to be effective in helping increase understanding and shape changes to services is has to be (or should be, I don't think it always is) good quality. The problem is when you make sacrifices from a research quality perspective then you loose the ability for that research to be truely impactful. There are studies that have looked at the importance of the wider social network (I know the NASS sent me some of their reports) and the field is continually growing on a daily basis. If I could expand my study I would, and I do hope to do so in the future, but unfortunately I have had to pick a specific focus. Hopefully soon I will be able to expand it. Thank you for giving me a thought provoking discussion though, I always appreciate the challenge and it helps me make sure I'm continually thinking about my choices.



I suffer badly with chronic pain in my hip and spine (was born with it) and my partner is my carer... I also have anxiety problems - I am not quite sure how this site works as am still a 'newbie'... If you can contact me, I am willing to provide details!


WinterLily, if you can email me - I can send you some more information for your partner to look at.


No offence Socirul but as a spouse or partner of a chronic pain xufferer it can be different to someone who only sees you maybe on a daily basis. When you are married everything you do revolves around your spouse. Every waking moment and sleep when you get it is done with their well being in mind.

Even the closest of friends and family will go home to their own life after being with you. We don't get that luxury. We don't get respite, days off trip to the hhairgresser without first having to ensure our loved ones are safe and not alone.

Many wives juggle working too although goodness knpws how but with the main bread winner unable to work, bills still have to be paid.

It is hard, damned hard knowing the person you married will never be pain free. Never again have that pain free life they once had. And every thing they do affects us too. Everything.

I for one intend to tell it how it is warts and all. The screaming, the verbal abuse,, the sleep depravation, the tears but never forgetting the laughter and the good days

Pat x



I have passed your information on to my husband as I think this is something he would be keen to take part in.

I've suffered from this for 15 years and only recently been officially diagnosed.

Its heart breaking at times seeing the effect it has on my family, each day is a struggle and I do my best to get through as much as possible. Its when I get home that's the hardest when the kids have gone to bed and I can finally sit and cry with my husband holding me trying to tell me that tomorrow might be a better day.

I try to make the most of my good days but know I have to stick within my limits or I suffer in the following days.

I wouldn't wish this on anyone and if someone can help in anyway possible I wish them luck.



Hi Tabby thank you so much for replying. It sounds like things are really quite difficult for you and your family. If your husband is still interested if he emails me ( is my work email) we can have a chat and see if he is suitable. Thanks again. Take care, Laura


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