Backup mandate Research Council: Perceived injustice-targeted pain neuroscience education combined with motivational interviewing: Can we decrease health care utilization in breast cancer survivors?

Project Details


The survival rate of breast cancer is increasing every day. However,
21-76% of breast cancer survivors (BCS) experience pain. More
healthcare use (HCU) is seen in BCS with pain. Recent work revealed that perceived injustice (PI) is experienced by 22% of BCS with pain. PI is the tendency to attribute blame to others for one’s suffering and to experience a sense of unfairness and is associated with higher opioid use, influencing HCU. Next to PI, other cognitive and emotional factors have been found to be related with HCU in people experiencing pain. However, their relationship with HCU in BCS has not been investigated. The proposed research aims to investigate the role of PI and other cognitive and emotional factors in HCU in BCS. I will do this through examining an intervention that specifically targets PI and other cognitive and emotional factors and that has been shown to substantially decrease HCU in a non-cancer pain population. With this project I aim to unravel the mechanism behind HCU in BCS with pain and PI, by means of randomized controlled trial in which the experimental group will receive PI- targeted pain neuroscience education combined with motivational interviewing, while the control group will receive biomedical pain education which will not address PI or any other cognitive/emotional factor. A greater decrease in HCU is expected in the PI-targeted intervention, possibly lowering the socio-economic burden for the large population of BCS and society.
Effective start/end date1/11/2131/10/22

Flemish discipline codes

  • Health economy
  • Primary health care
  • Health psychology


  • Breast cancer survivors
  • healthcare utilization