Psychological therapies for chronic pain and adjustment difficulties in multimorbid health conditions
A significant number of people have chronic (long-term) health problems and some of these have so-called 'multimorbidities' this means a number of physical symptoms or diseases occurring at the same time, for example arthritis and depression or high blood pressure, diabetes and chronic pain. In the first part of this study, we will identify the number of people with 'multimorbidities' where chronic pain is a feature. In the second part of the study, we will develop new ways to offer psychological treatments. While these conditions are best managed through integrated medical and allied health care, many symptoms may also be amenable to psychological interventions such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). For example, CBT has been shown to be effective for treating psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression in people with physical illness and is also helpful for treating physical symptoms such as fatigue and chronic pain. However, access to CBT is relatively scarce and many people are unable to avail of this service. Recent developments in technology have meant that more and more health services are being made available electronically. eHealth encompasses a wide array of technologies and media including online treatment programmes, mobile phone technology, social media and telehealth services. The research programme detailed here will utilise a range of these technologies to make psychological therapies available to people with chronic pain in the context of multimorbid medical conditions. The research programme includes early development work to get service user feedback on the treatment programme, initial clinical evaluations to test the programmes, then full clinical trials to evaluate the clinical effectiveness and the cost effectiveness of the programmes. If shown to be successful, these eHealth treatments have the potential to benefit large numbers of people, not just in Ireland, but everywhere that people have access to the internet.
Specific objectives of the research programme include:
- Identify the specific multimorbid conditions in which chronic pain is a feature and identify the prevalence and cost of these conditions;
- Using qualitative research methods with services users, identify the appropriate content and format for possible online delivery (and smartphone applications) of psychological therapies for management of chronic pain and associated difficulties such as depression and fatigue;
- Conduct clinical effectiveness and feasibility studies of the online/electronic therapies;
- Conduct a RCT of an online/electronic therapy programme for chronic pain and associated difficulties in a population with medical mutimorbidities.
- Award Date
- 22 March 2013
- Award Value
- Principal Investigator
- Professor Brian McGuire
- Host Institution
- National University of Ireland, Galway
- Research Leader Awards