NUI Galway Recruiting Participants for Online Chronic Pain Study

The Quadrangle, NUI Galway. Photo: Aengus McMahon
Aug 09 2017 Posted: 12:01 IST

Online trial of pain self-management programme ‘Pain Course’ is recruiting adults in Ireland living with chronic pain  

The Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway is currently recruiting people with chronic pain (pain that has lasted for 3 months or more) to take part in a trial of the ‘Pain Course’, a free online pain self-management programme. The study offers adults living with chronic pain the opportunity to avail of this eight-week Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy course, in the comfort of their own home.

The ‘Pain Course’ was developed by a team of experts at MacQuarie University in Sydney, Australia. The Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway, in collaboration with the research team at MacQuarie University, is conducting a research trial of the ‘Pain Course’ with adults who experience chronic pain and live in Ireland. As many people with chronic pain are unable to access specialist pain management services, this course provides people with a programme that teaches them about and how to manage chronic pain, with clinician telephone support, in their own home.

Living with chronic pain is very challenging and people affected by it can also struggle with anxiety and depression for very understandable reasons. Chronic pain can significantly disrupt a person’s life. The ‘Pain Course’ provides good information and teaches practical skills such as Thought Challenging, Activity Pacing, and Controlled Breathing, to help manage the impact of pain on a person’s day-to-day activities, feelings of well-being and overall quality of life.

A pilot study that examined the acceptability of the ‘Pain Course’ among a small group of adults with chronic pain in Ireland found that most participants reported a high level of satisfaction with the course. Increased understanding of their pain condition and Thought Challenging were identified as being particularly helpful features of the course. All participants found the programme to be worthwhile and would recommend it to others. Feedback was predominantly positive: “I have learned the basics about chronic pain.” “Having this information and using the skills delivered in the course, I find that I think about everything in a different way now.” “The course showed me that I am not alone.”

Professor Brian McGuire from the School of Psychology at NUI Galway, said: “This important collaboration with colleagues at MacQuarie University who have developed a broad range of online treatment programmes, will enable us to help people in Ireland to have increased access to effective treatment to manage the impact of chronic pain.”

Catherine Navin, a clinical psychologist at NUI Galway who coordinates the study, said: “Over 1,000 Australians have completed the Pain Course with very encouraging results and we are hopeful that adults with chronic pain in Ireland will similarly benefit from this treatment.”

The study will take place over the coming months. General Practitioners, physiotherapists and psychologists are also encouraged to refer suitable people with chronic pain to the study. 

Participants can register at:


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