Confronting Racism in All Forms of Pain Research: A Shared Commitment for Engagement, Diversity, and Dissemination

Anna M. Hood, Staja Q. Booker, Calia A. Morais, Burel R. Goodin, Janelle E. Letzen, Lisa C. Campbell, Ericka N. Merriwether, Edwin N. Aroke, Claudia M. Campbell, Vani A. Mathur, Mary R. Janevic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This third paper in the “Confronting Racism in All Forms of Pain Research” series discusses adopting an antiracism framework across all pain research disciplines and highlights the significant benefits of doing so. We build upon the previous call to action and the proposed reframing of study designs articulated in the other papers in the series and seek to confront and eradicate racism through a shared commitment to change current research practices. Specifically, we emphasize the systematic disadvantage created by racialization (ie, the Eurocentric social and political process of ascribing racialized identities to a relationship, social practice, or group) and discuss how engaging communities in partnership can increase the participation of racialized groups in research studies and enrich the knowledge gained. Alongside this critical work, we indicate why diversifying the research environment (ie, research teams, labs, departments, and culture) enriches our scientific discovery and promotes recruitment and retention of participants from racialized groups. Finally, we recommend changes in reporting and dissemination practices so that we do not stigmatize or reproduce oppressive forms of power for racialized groups. Although this shift may be challenging in some cases, the increase in equity, generalizability, and credibility of the data produced will expand our knowledge and reflect the pain experiences of all communities more accurately. Perspective: In this third paper in our series, we advocate for a shared commitment toward an antiracism framework in pain research. We identify community partnerships, diversification of research environments, and changes to our dissemination practices as areas where oppressive forms of power can be reduced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)913-928
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Pain
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • Antiracism
  • bias
  • equity
  • inclusion
  • language

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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