Chronic pain programme extended

A recent online treatment programme, set up by expert psychologists and physiotherapists, aims to help those who suffer from chronic pain. Recruitment has been extended until Friday, 29 April due to the number of inquiries received in recent weeks.

The Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway, with the support of the Health Research Board, is currently recruiting people with chronic pain (pain which has lasted for three months or more ). The Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT ) trial will provide eight online sessions to people in the comfort of their own home. At the moment, such supports are mainly available through specialised hospital-based pain management teams.

Chronic pain affects up to 35 per cent of the Irish population and is increasingly recognised as a disease in its own right. Chronic pain is sometimes associated with psychological effects, which may include anxiety and changes in mood, as well as forgetfulness, and difficulties in focusing attention, planning tasks and making decisions. The ACT trial is based on emerging clinical science that demonstrates the usefulness of managing chronic pain through mindfulness and psychological wellbeing.

The study is open to people all over Ireland and will take place over the coming months. GPs and physiotherapists around the country are being encouraged to refer suitable people with pain to the study.

People who take part in the ACT trial will not need to attend any clinic or the University at any stage. All materials are tailored for those wishing to learn effective ways of managing their chronic pain. Participants can access physiotherapy and all medical services as usual while involved in the trial. Study supervisor Dr Brian McGuire said “this is a promising new online pain management programme and we are hopeful it will be of benefit to people with chronic pain.”

For further information contact Dr Christopher Dwyer at the Centre for Pain Research, NUI Galway at [email protected] or 091 495 391, or see the website http://www.nuigalway.ie/centre-for-pain-research/ before Friday, 29 April. GPs or physiotherapists who are interested in referring suitable patients to the trial can also use these contact details.

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