New Department of Methodology Research Project
Communicating Chronic Pain: Interdisciplinary Methods for Non-Textual Data
Dr. Jen Tarr, PI
Co-investigators Dr. Aude Bicquelet, Dr. Flora Cornish, Dr. Elena Gonzalez-Polledo
Funded by the NCRM Methodological Innovations Project scheme
1 May 2013-30 September 2014
The research adapts interdisciplinary methods from the arts, humanities and social sciences to examine how chronic pain, as a non-verbal experience, can be communicated through non-textual data, and how it circulates socially. It will do this through a three stage process involving analysis of existing textual and non-textual pain expressions online and in social media such as YouTube; a series of five workshops exploring non-textual expressions of pain by mapping physical and bodily, sound (aural), spatial, social and technological elements, and development of an evaluation methodology for exploring of the efficacy of non-textual communications of pain. Workshops will be interdisciplinary, involving chronic pain patients, visual and performing artists, and clinicians researching chronic pain, as well as the members of the research team. The evaluation phase of the research will look at ways of modelling the outcomes of the workshops and evaluating the relative success of non-textual modes of pain communication for patients, clinicians and other interested professionals. Methodologically, the research will contribute to development, systematisation and evaluation of non-textual research methods and to useful interdisciplinary collaborations between contemporary practices in the arts, humanities and social sciences. It aims to develop and enhance chronic pain sufferers’ ability to communicate their pain and to work with clinicians to better understand pain expressions from a non-linguistic perspective.