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Papers of the Week

Papers: 29 Oct 2022 - 4 Nov 2022



Can J Pain



Popcorn in the pain clinic: A content analysis of the depiction of patients with chronic pain and their management in motion pictures.


The watching of films is popular and accessible to broad segments of the population. The depiction of medical conditions in films has the potential to affect the public's perception of them and contribute to stereotypes and stigma. We investigated how patients with chronic pain and their management are depicted in feature films. Films that contained characters with or references to chronic pain were searched for using databases such as the International Movie Database. Themes that emerged from the content analysis revolved around the films' depictions of characters with pain, their health care providers, and therapies for pain management. Patients with chronic pain were depicted in various ways, including in manners that could elicit empathy from audiences or that might contribute to the development of negative stereotypes about them. The attitudes of health care professionals toward patients with chronic pain ranged from compassionate to dispassionate. Pain management was typically depicted as lacking in breadth or using multidisciplinary approaches with a focus on pharmacological management. The variety of topics related to chronic pain depicted in feature films lends to their use in medical education strategies to better inform health care professions trainees about chronic pain management.