Gabrielle Leblanc-Huard is currently completing her master’s degree in Social Work at Université Laval, under the direction of Gabrielle Fortin and Dr. Anne-Marie Pinard. Her research focuses on the impact of chronic pain on the social functioning of young adults transitioning to adulthood. As part of her partnership with CPCoE, she will be looking at how the challenges and needs of young adults with chronic pain can be transposed to individuals transitioning from military to Veteran life. She also has a bachelor's degree in Public Management and a certificate in History from UQAM (University of Quebec at Montreal). As a research assistant, Gabrielle is involved in projects examining the experiences of young parents with advanced cancer and their loved ones and the negotiation strategies used by social workers in the context of the managerialization of public services. As an undergraduate student, she also participated in projects on home-based care policies for the elderly in Quebec and on the nationalization and privatization of public enterprises in Canada. Gabrielle's research interests are diverse and include chronic pain, the experiences of young adults with chronic illnesses, life transitions, care trajectories and the organization of health and social services
The Impact of Chronic Pain on the Social Functioning of Young Adults Transitioning from Pediatric to Adult Care
Largely unexplored until now, chronic pain in young adults can have many impacts on their daily lives. These include difficulty attending school, finding or keeping a job, developing their social circle, having a balanced home life and starting a family. Young adults who were followed in pediatrics as children also experience an additional challenge when they are transferred to adult care, which offers services that are quite different from what they were used to in childhood and adolescence. All of these factors complicate their entry and adaptation to adult life. This study seeks to explore the impact of chronic pain in young adults making the transition from pediatric to adult care. Veterans are also a group particularly affected by chronic pain and have undergone a major transition from active duty military life to civilian life as a Veteran. This research will attempt to identify similarities and differences between the transition of young adult civilians and Veterans through a focus group with Canadian Veterans aged 18-49 years.
This project will document the impact of chronic pain on the social functioning of young adults transitioning from pediatric to adult care. Specifically, the study will:
1) Describe the experience of chronic pain in a previously understudied target group
2) Document the psychosocial needs of young adults with chronic pain
3) Describe how the transition is experienced by young adults and identify any unmet needs during this process
4) Raise awareness among health and social service professionals and the scientific community about the reality of young adults with chronic pain
5) Identify similarities and differences in the transition of young adults and veterans living with chronic pain
6) Present the material developed in this study so that it can be used for future research on Veterans and lead to benefits and subsequent studies
In terms of projected impact, our first expectation is that the knowledge generated from this research will inspire other researchers to explore chronic pain and the transition process in young adults, as well as the impact of chronic pain on the transition from military to Veteran life. We would ultimately like future research to build on our findings to improve the care provided to these understudied populations and to develop innovative practices aimed at enhancing the quality of life of young adults and Veterans living with chronic pain. Second, we hope that describing the experiences of young adults and Veterans with chronic pain can raise awareness among health and social service professionals so that they are better prepared to intervene with them. Lastly, we hope that this study will reach young adults and Veterans living with chronic pain and their families so that they feel understood and supported by the scientific community.