Pain and healthcare experiences of sex and gender minority citizens living with chronic pain in Canada

One in four people in Canada live with chronic pain. These individuals experience poorer health outcomes, higher healthcare services use, and lower quality of life. Studies show males and females experience pain differently, for example differences in pain sensitivity and pain control. But little is known about pain experiences in people who identify as a sex and gender minority, meaning a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity differs from traditional societal views. Sex and gender minority persons report higher pain and experience unique life stressors (e.g. discrimination), which may lead to worsening of their pain. We aim to study 1) pain experiences and 2) strategies to improve healthcare experiences for individuals who identify as sex and gender minority living with chronic pain by collaborating with patient and public stakeholders to answer these questions. Involving persons who identify as sex and gender minority with chronic pain in research studies is important because it provides them with a voice to offer personal stories and perspectives. Community engagement will help researchers ask the “right questions” and guide research priorities to improve the lives of people who face similar health challenges.