Current Studies

Below are the studies currently running within the Centre for Pain Research that are recruiting participants. If you are interested in taking part, details on how to make contact are given with each study. 

The Pain Course

The Pain Course is designed to provide good information and skills for managing chronic pain, anxiety, and low mood.  The purpose of the current research project is to evaluate the effectiveness of an online, cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) programme, the Pain Course, which was developed at the eCentreClinic, MacQuarie University, Sydney, Australia, to improve psychological functioning and well-being in people who suffer with chronic pain. The programme has been examined in several clinical trials involving hundreds of Australians with chronic pain.  The results have been very encouraging with participants reporting significant reductions in their disability, anxiety and depression levels.  This is the first major trial of the Pain Course in Ireland and will be conducted in collaboration with the research team at MacQuarie University.

The Pain Course comprises 5 online lessons, which provide good information about chronic pain, anxiety, and depression.  You will be asked to complete these lessons over 8 weeks and to complete some simple homework assignments that will help you to remember the material you have learned.  Each lesson provides important information about techniques for managing pain and emotional wellbeing, with illustrated examples of how people learn these techniques.  Each lesson takes about 30 minutes to complete and homework will take a further 4 hours each week.    You will receive weekly emails that give detailed instructions on how to access course materials and progress through the programme.  Weekly contact with a clinician via email and telephone will provide support and guidance throughout the course.

You are eligible to take part in the study if:

  • You are aged 18 years or more;
  • You have pain for at least six months duration;
  • You are resident of Ireland;
  • You have regular access to a computer and to the internet;
  • You are not currently experiencing a psychotic illness;
  • You are not experiencing chronic pain due to malignancy; and
  • You have adequate English language ability.

If you are happy to take part in the study, you will, firstly, be asked to complete some online questionnaires.  Eligible applicants will be contacted by a research team member to conduct a brief telephone interview, discuss the Course and answer your questions.  Next, you will be randomly assigned to one of two groups: one group will undergo the online pain management course immediately (Immediate Access Group) and the other group will not access the programme initially (Control Group), but will have access to the programme after the research project has been completed. 

If you are interested in taking part, please contact Catherine by emailing, noting "The Pain Course" in the subject line of  the email. GPs, physiotherapists and psychologists who are interested in referring suitable patients to the trial can also use these contact details.