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Pain Management Programmes in Republic of Ireland

Living with persistent pain can be difficult. However, with the correct specialist advice and care, people with chronic pain can move from the mindset of a disabled patient to becoming a more functional, independent person. For some people, living with pain can be made easier if given the opportunity to take an active part in a pain management programme (PMP). By participating in a PMP the goal is to imporove the patient’s ability to increase function and live a better quality of life, even with on-going chronic pain.

See below for Pain Management Programmes currently being provided in the Republic of Ireland.

The Ulysses Pain Management Programme

Location: The Adelaide and Meath and the National Children's Hospital (AMNCH), Tallaght, Dublin 22.

This pain management programme is provided in a group format, so you will get to meet other people with chronic pain conditions. Most people find this very beneficial, as they often report that having chronic pain is a very isolating experience.

The programme is mainly run by the physiotherapist, occupational therapist and psychologist with some input from the Consultant and clinical nurse specialist. It focuses on physical conditioning, medication management, nutritional advice and the enhancement of positive coping skills through cognitive behavioural therapy.

A typical day will include a group session run by the clinical psychologist, an exercise session provided by the physiotherapist (based in the gym or the hydrotherapy pool), an education session which looks at some aspect of pain management, and a session led by the occupational therapist.

Please visit the Irish Pain Society website to watch the DVD on the Ulysses Pain Management Programme http://www.irishpainsociety.com/

Course duration: 3 days per week for a period of 4 weeks.

  • Consultants in Pain Medicine- Dr. Camillus Power, Dr. Philip Hu and Dr. Anne Heffernan.
  • Clinical Psychologist - Ms. Orla Spencer
  • Physiotherapist - Ms. Sheila Horan
  • Occupational Therapist - Ms. Olga Hill/Simone Derham
  • Co-Ordinator - Ms. Catherine Paisley
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist - Ms. Catherine O' Donoghue

Number of course participants: 8-10 people per course

Contact details: Ms. Catherine Paisley (Co-ordinator) 01 414 3104

The ELM (Educate Learn Manage) Pain Management Programme

Location: St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin 4.

This is a rehabilitation programme for patients with chronic pain disorders. It is based upon Cognitive Behavioural Therapy principles and adopts a holistic approach to chronic pain. It identifies factors that affect the patient’s unique experience of pain, the impact of pain on their functioning (physical, psychological and social) and their response to it. The ELM Interdisciplinary Pain Management Programme is currently part of a consultant-led Department of Pain Management staffed by a team comprised of consultant pain specialists, senior registrars and Research Fellows, procedure nurses and specialist allied health professionals such as a senior clinical psychologist, assistant psychologist, a senior occupational therapist, senior physiotherapist and clinical trainees.

  • Consultant Anaesthetists: Dr Declan O’Keeffe & Dr Paul Murphy
  • Psychologist: Dr Rosemary Walsh
  • Occupational Therapist: Ms Blonny Brennan
  • Physiotherapist: Ms Aine Ryan

Course duration: 3 week programme, 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.

Number of course participants: 10 – 12 people.

Contact details: Pain management programme reception 01- 2213699 (Operational between 2 – 3.15pm only).

Pain Management Programme, Galway

Pain Consultant Anaesthetists are Dr. David O' Gorman, Dr Chris Maharaj

This interdisciplinary pain management programme is scheduled depending on resources and demand. It is run by the psychologist, clinical nurse specialists in pain, physiotherapist and occupational therapist.

Contact details: Send referrals to Dr David O'Gorman or Dr Chris Maharaj, The Pain Clinic, Hepatology Unit, University College Hospital, Galway.

Rheumatology Rehabilitation Programme, Harold’s Cross, Dublin 8

Rheumatology consultants are based in St Vincent’s University Hospital

The service provides an in-patient service with 40 beds and a new out patient service for 6 patients per day. An in-patient stay can last between 2 to 3 weeks. Outpatients attend for a period of 4 days usually from 9am to 4pm.

The service provides a full assessment and consists of a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist, a social worker, an advanced nurse practitioner and a clinical nurse specialist. A psychologist from St. Vincent’s University Hospital attends once a week for a one-to-one session with two inpatients. Hydrotherapy and relaxation classes are provided for patients with arthritis.