Seminar Presentation 6-1

6-1 (Presentation within Topical Seminar 6):
The Negative Impact on Injury-Related Perceptions of Injustice on Recovery Outcomes

Presented by: Michael Sullivan

Seminar Details

Part of Topical Seminar 6: Justice in the Compensation System
Tuesday September 30


Sullivan, Michael1

  1. McGill University



Individuals suffering from chronic pain face multiple frustrations and losses for which blame is often externally ascribed. Accordingly, recent work indicates that musculoskeletal pain patients often perceive themselves as victims of injustice and that these perceptions are linked with poorer physical and psychological outcomes.


This presentation will address the conceptual and empirical basis of injury-related perceptions of injustice. The presentation will summarize the results of recent studies examining the prognostic values of injury-related perceptions of injustice in individuals who have sustained musculoskeletal injuries. Data will also be presented highlighting variables that might mediate the relation between perceived injustice and recovery outcomes.


The results of recent studies indicate that perceptions of injustice are prospectively related to more severe pain, heightened emotional distress and more prolonged disability. The pattern of findings suggests that perceptions of injustice impede recovery from the physical and emotional sequelae of injury.


Although emerging research suggests that perceived injustices is a psychological risk factor for problematic recovery outcomes, current psychological interventions for pain and disability do not systematically address perceptions of injustice. The presentation will describe intervention approaches that might be useful in targeting perceptions of injustice that arise consequent to musculoskeletal injury.