Michael Sullivan

Academic title(s): 


Canada Research Chair in Behavioural Health (Tier I)


Contact Information:


Office: 2001 McGill College, 1406
Phone: 514.398.5677


Mailing Address:
Department of Psychology
2001 McGill College, 7th floor
Montreal, QC
H3A 1G1



Research Areas:

Clinical Psychology | Health Psychology

Research Summary:

Dr. Sullivan studies the psychology of pain and disability. He is known primarily for his research on the relation between catastrophic thinking and pain experience, and for the development of community-based approaches to the management of pain-related disability.  Current research focuses on the communication of pain experience and the prediction of problematic health outcomes.

Selected References:

Sullivan, M.J.L., Adams, H., Ellis, T. (2013). A Psychosocial Risk-Targeted Intervention to Reduce Work  Disability: Development, Evolution and Implementation Challenges. Psychological Injury and Law, DOI:10.1007/s12207-013-9171-x

Sullivan, M.J.L. (2012). The Communal Coping Model of pain catastrophizing: Clinical and research implications. Canadian Psychology, 53, 32-41.

Sullivan, M.J.L., Adams, H., Martel, M.O., Scott, W., Wideman, T.H. (2011). Catastrophizing and perceived injustice: Risk factors for the transition to chronicity following whiplash injury. Spine, 36, S244 – S249.

Sullivan, M.J.L., Lariviere, C., Simmonds, M. (2010). Activity-related summation of pain and functional disability in patients with whiplash injuries. Pain, 151, 440 - 446.

Sullivan, M.J.L., Davidson, N., Garfinkiel, B., Scott, W. (2009). Perceived injustice is associated with heightened pain behavior and disability in individuals with whiplash injuries. Psychological Injury and Law, 2, 238–247.

Sullivan, M.J.L., Thibault, P., Simmonds, M., Milioto, M., Canton, A-P., Velly, A. (2009). Pain, perceived injustice and the persistence of post-traumatic stress symptoms during the course of rehabilitation for whiplash injuries. Pain, 145, 325-331.

Sullivan, M.J.L., Thibault, P., Androkonyte, J., Butler, H., Catchlove, R., Lariviere, C. (2009). Psychological influences on repetition induced summation of activity-related pain in patients with musculoskeletal pain. Pain, 141, 70-78

Sullivan, M.J.L. (2008). Self-report of pain is an act of communication. Pain, 140, 521.

Sullivan, M.J.L., Lynch, M.E., Clark, A.J., Mankovsky, T., & Sawynok, J. (2008). Catastrophizing and treatment outcome: Impact on response to placebo and active treatment outcome. Contemporary Hypnosis, 29, 129-140.

Sullivan, M.J.L., Adams, H., Horan, S., Mahar, D., Boland, D., & Gross, R.  (2008). The role of perceived injustice in the experience of chronic pain and disability: Scale development and validation. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 18, 249-261.

Sullivan, M.J.L. (2008). Toward a biopsychomotor conceptualisation of pain. Clinical Journal of Pain, 24, 281-290.