Background: Pain neuroscience education (PNE) programs have become popular among clinicians and are widely promoted through social and mainstream media. Purpose: To test the hypothesis that people with persistent pain are likely to express negative attitudes to PNE statements and compare their responses to other social media user groups. Methods: A total of 1319 respondents completed an online survey and were directed into four groups: persistent pain, healthcare professionals with persistent pain, pain-free healthcare professionals, and pain-free controls. The survey included ten statements of popular PNE concepts. Feedback was invited by offering seven attitudinal response categories (three positives, three negatives, and one neutral). A two-step hierarchical regression model was used to assess the likelihood of reporting negatively. Results: Compared to controls, respondents from the persistent pain group were more likely to report negatively towards all statements (OR 1.6–2.16), except for two statements (#3 and #5). Healthcare professionals were less likely to report negative attitudes for 4 out of 10 statement (OR 0.35–0.58). Health care professionals living with persistent responded to most statements like the pain-free controls (besides statement #2, OR 0.59). Conclusion: People living with persistent pain are more likely to express negative attitudes to PNE statements on social media, unlike healthcare professionals who were less likely to express negativity. Healthcare professionals living with persistent pain responded to most PNE statements like the pain-free control group. The study's main weaknesses include the lack of psychometric information of the questionnaire used, selection bias, small samples of the healthcare professionals and the overrepresentation of young social media users.
- Chronic pain
- Explain pain
- Patient education
- Therapeutic neuroscience education