Support programme seeks the input of people with multiple chronic health conditions

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Dealing with chronic pain can be a terrible burden, and when someone has another chronic health condition on top of that it can become unbearable.

Recognising that there is always more that we can do to help those dealing with chronic health problems, NUI Galway is looking for people to help them trial a new psychological support programme.

Chronic pain (lasting longer than three months) is a common health issues in Ireland that puts people at increased risk of depression, reduces the ability to work, and degrades your quality of life.

Getting psychological support for people dealing with chronic pain can be a burden of its own due to the cost and strain involved.

When a second chronic health option is piled on top of the pain it’s known as multimorbidity.

This presents an extra challenge as most supports are specialised to a single health issue, and can’t teach people how to handle multiple conditions with competing symptoms.

The Action for Mulitmorbidity Study is recruiting people with chronic pain and at least one other chronic health issue to take part in an online programme that takes a fresh look at providing psychological support.

The ACTION programme provides eight online sessions, tailored for those wishing to learn effective ways of managing their health conditions.

Professor Brian McGuire, principal investigator on the study at NUI Galway explains, “We know that psychological therapies provided to people with chronic conditions are beneficial, but often hard to access.

“In this trial, we will offer an online programme to people all over the country, with any combination of conditions and chronic pain, to try alongside any existing treatments they are already using.”

The Centre for Pain Research at NUIG has developed a range of activity-pacing techniques to encourage consistent levels of activity from day to day.

In addition the programme will include mindfulness techniques to help participants identify negative thinking that affecting them.

The entire study is carried out online, and participants will not need to travel to NUI Galway at any stage.

People taking part will be asked to fill out three questionnaires about their health over a five-month period.

After the first questionnaire participants will be assigned access to the online programme.

To participate, please email the researchers at The current phase of recruitment will close in March.