19 - The Family Health Lab and Social Experience of Pain with Dr. Michelle Gagnon

For episode 19, we are speaking with Dr. Michelle Gagnon about the Family Health Lab based at USask. Michelle is a clinical psychologist and pain researcher who tells us all about pain as it's embedded in the family system, the social experience of pain, and about menstrual pain for teens (and how to get involved in some exciting studies)!
In episode nineteen, we are speaking to Dr. Michelle Gagnon. Michelle is a registered clinical psychologist and PhD psychology professor at the University of Saskatchewan. Michelle received her graduate school training out of the University of Regina, where she also completed a residency at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario. Her area is on the social and psychological influences in the pain experience across the lifespan, with a current focus on pediatric pain. 

During the episode, Michelle gives us details on the pain-related research activities happening in her lab, the Family Health Lab, at USask. Here, they are actively recruiting teens/parents for studies about menstrual pain, and the development of a phone app for menstrual pain management. Michelle also shares some of the innovative studies being led by the students' she is supervising, with a discussion on the importance of mentorship for young pain researchers.   

Michelle provides an excellent overview of how pediatric or youth pain differs to adult or elderly populations, how pain can be embedded in a family, and the normalization of pain for certain populations . We have a discussion catered to health care providers on ensuring stigma and discrimination doesn't occur against particular groups regarding their pain experience. Lastly, Michelle explains the social experience of pain from the perspective of the person living it – which may help those currently trying to seek help for their pain gain insight on how they can, perhaps, better advocate for themselves.

If you have questions about the Family Health Lab at USask, or wish to participate in some of the projects they are currently working on, please visit: https://www.familyhealthlab.com

 If you wish to contact Dr. Gagnon directly for more information, she is available at Michelle.gagnon@usask.ca or on Twitter @MicheGagnon

Additional Links and Resources
Family Health Lab
Family Health Lab Twitter
Family Health Lab Facebook
FHL Student Research - Kayla Wall, Mindfulness and Menstrual Pain

Saskatchewan Centre for Patient Oriented Research (SCPOR)
Article re: Menstrual Pain Impacting Chronic Pain Later in Life

SaskPain Website
SaskPain Facebook

A thank you to our sponsors and supporters:
The Saskatchewan Pain Society
The Community Initiatives Fund
Our Editor, Chris Enns, of Lemon Productions

We happily welcome feedback on this podcast, and are always looking for guests to speak to! Contact us at info@saskpain.ca, or message us on our Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn pages if you would like more information or to get involved in the podcast.  
© 2023 The Saskatchewan Pain Society