‘The experience of chronic pain can easily be disregarded by individuals who do not struggle with it,’ TWU researcher Hannah Hube has found. (TWU)

‘The experience of chronic pain can easily be disregarded by individuals who do not struggle with it,’ TWU researcher Hannah Hube has found. (TWU)

Researcher at TWU in Langley investigates the psychology of chronic pain

Physical activity is not only still possible, but beneficial – if those in pain can be encouraged

“I want to address individuals who live with pain every day, tell them that their voice and experience is heard, and possibly lend findings that are clinically relevant,” stated Hannah Hube, who is entering her third year majoring in Psychology with a Certificate in Human Services at TWU.

As a student researcher, Hube was first inspired to address this topic through meeting friends and professors who live with chronic pain.

Seeing their challenges motivated Hube to want to make a difference.

“I find that the experience of chronic pain can easily be disregarded by individuals who do not struggle with it,” she observed.

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“I want to be someone who not only listens to the stories of others, but who can also contribute to the growing body of literature.”

Working under the supervision of Dr. Kelly Arbeau, Hube has been researching how psychology may influence physical activity levels among people who live with chronic pain.

“We know that physical activity can be used as treatment for chronic pain, as it also provides a variety of health and mental health benefits,” Hube summarized.

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“[Our] project addresses different (psychological) mechanisms that may explain why individuals with chronic pain avoid physical activity, or which mechanisms may explain higher engagement in physical activity.”

Hube is among the winners of 2021 TWU undergraduate research awards.

She notes that existing research shows, many individuals with chronic pain avoid physical activity for a variety of psychological reasons, including catastrophizing, anxiety and fear-avoidance. She also noticed that many other variables—such as body connection, personality, and beliefs about the value of exercise—were missing from the literature. Hube hopes to help fill this gap.

Hube said that she is excited for the opportunity to use and grow her skills as a researcher, while representing a demographic of people that she cares about.


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LangleyTrinity Western University