Trial: Online Pain Self-Management Programme

NUI Galway trial of the Pain Course, an online pain self-management programme for adults with chronic pain.

The Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway is currently recruiting people with chronic pain (pain which has lasted for 3 months or more) to take part in a trial of the Pain Course, a free, online and internet-delivered pain self-management programme. The study offers adults with chronic pain the opportunity to avail of this 8 week, online Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy course, in the comfort of their own home.

The Pain Course, was developed by a team of experts at MacQuarie University, Sydney, Australia. The Centre for Pain Research, 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 affected persons can also struggle with anxiety and depression for very understandable reasons. Chronic pain can, therefore, significantly disrupt a person’s life. The Pain Course provides good information and teaches practical skills 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 the majority of participants reported a high level of satisfaction with 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 now and using the skills delivered in the course, I find that I think about everything in a different way now” and “The course showed me that I am not alone.”

Study supervisor, Professor Brian McGuire, from 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.”

Get in touch

For further information, please contact Catherine by emailing,, or phone 091 495832, or visit Centre of Pain website. The study is open to people all over Ireland and will take place over the coming months. GPs, physiotherapists or psychologists are also encouraged to refer suitable people with pain to the study.