Supporting Research in Pain Management for Veterans and Military Service Members
Supporting Research in Pain Management for Veterans and Military Service Members

Call for Submissions: Accelerating Innovative Strategies for Greater Equity and Inclusion in Pain Care and Research

Journal of Pain and Health Psychology Coordinated Special Issues on Pain Disparities

Guest Editors: Emily Barley, Mary Janevic and Martha Kenney (Journal of Pain); Adam Hirsh, Vani Mathur, Ericka Merriweather, Fenan Rassu (Health Psychology)

There is growing awareness of the need for research to address pain inequities and to prioritize historically excluded groups, who are often disproportionately affected by pain but whose pain experience is not well documented or understood. Pain research and management faces a critical juncture. It is time to accelerate pain research to move beyond simple group comparisons to focus efforts on explaining how these inequities are generated and perpetuated, and on identifying the specific interventions, policies, and other approaches that can be used to mitigate them.

Healthy People 2030 defines health disparity as a health difference “linked with social, economic, and/or environmental disadvantage” and “affecting people who experience greater obstacles to health based on their racial or ethnic group; religion; socioeconomic status; gender; age; mental health; cognitive, sensory, or physical disability; sexual orientation or gender identity; geographic location; or other characteristics historically linked to discrimination or exclusion.” Guided by the Healthy People 2030 framework, the Journal of Pain and Health Psychology are collaborating on companion special issues focused on pain disparities. With this joint effort, the journals aim to stimulate innovative scholarship that reaches a broad audience across the biological, psychological, social, and implementation sciences.

Contributions from those outside the traditional boundaries of psychological, social, and pain sciences are particularly welcome. This cross-pollination of perspectives and methodologies will provide an enriched understanding of the challenges at hand and spur novel strategies for promoting equity and inclusion in pain research and care.

Submission Instructions:

Because the requirements differ across journals, we ask that authors submit a letter of intent by October 30, 2023 to This letter of intent should include a 300-word (or less) summary of the expected submission, including the aims, methods, and analytic approach of an original report, or the scope and conceptual approach of a review or focus article. The editors will then provide feedback, including preliminary guidance on the suitability of the proposal for the special issue and a recommendation for which journal seems to be the best fit, so that authors can follow journal-specific guidelines. Feedback on letters of intent will be supportive but not binding, as all submissions will undergo peer review.

If a manuscript has been approved for submission following the letter of intent, please note that there is no assurance of acceptance after peer review. The final deadline for article submission for the special issues is April 1, 2024. Please indicate in the manuscript cover letter that you would like to have the article considered for the Special Issue on Pain Disparities. Articles routed to Journal of Pain should be submitted through the Editorial Manager submission portal, link here. Those routed to Health Psychology should submit through the Editorial Manager submission portal, link here.

Contact Information: Please send letters of intent to If you have any pre-submission questions, contact Dr. Emily Bartley at