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In a pan-Canadian study, we are examining the intergenerational transmission of pain and mental health issues in Veterans and their children. We are also examining their incredible resilience.

Chronic Pain in Veterans Study

Chronic pain is a family issue; many children with chronic pain also have parents with chronic pain. This can increase the risk for their children to develop pain problems that can persist into adulthood, yet many will be resilient.   

The issue:

Parental chronic pain and associated mental health issues are the most powerful predictors of child chronic pain outcomes. However, little is known about how the risk for pain is transferred from parents to children, especially in Veterans and their families.

What we need to know:

Which combination of epigenetic and psychosocial mechanisms underlie risk and resilience for pain running in Veteran families. We don’t know how this works or what we can do to prevent chronic pain in children before it begins.

What's next:

We will survey 250 Veterans and their children about their pain and mental health. Epigenetic and psychosocial factors will be assessed. A portion of Veterans and their families will be interviewed to explore how pain unfolds in the family context during critical developmental periods. 

Pain is real. Change the conversation.