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Professor Chris Eccleston
Professor Chris Eccleston

Press Release - 06 November 2007

Bath pain researchers to develop therapy that can be delivered in the home

Some people who suffer with chronic pain could be able to learn how to manage their condition without relying on visits to hospital services, thanks to new research funding.

Pedometers and sensor technology fitted to the homes of volunteer patients will collect data on their everyday physical activity levels.

This will help researchers in the School for Health at the University of Bath to develop and test a new system that will target rehabilitation to the specific individual needs of people struggling to live with chronic pain.

The new system will make use of existing home-based technology to deliver a tailor-made therapy aimed at helping patients take control of their own rehabilitation.

Mobile sensing technology will collect information and test the best way to present it back to patients and pain clinic staff in a form that will identify the causes of further pain and distress.

Professor Chris Eccleston, Director of the Bath Pain Management Unit, said: “There are two million people in the UK working hard to live as best they can in the face of pain.

“Expert pain management services, such as ours in the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, aim to treat the most complexly disabled. However there is a wider demand to address pain associated disability earlier.

“This research is an investment in the future of pain management services, in which we aim to take therapy to patients, instead of relying of patients finding their way to therapy.”

The research is part of a major new nationwide project is aimed at helping a variety of people with chronic conditions take control of their rehabilitation at home.

A consortium of researchers from four UK Universities (Bath, Sheffield Hallam, Sheffield, and Ulster) has been awarded more than £2.3 million by the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council.

The Bath Pain Management Unit is a specialised centre of excellence for the treatment of chronic pain.

Using interdisciplinary techniques of cognitive behavioural therapy the team offers programmes of rehabilitation to help the most disabled learn how to live a rewarding life despite being in persistent pain.

The Unit was the first to develop and deliver these treatments intensively for teenagers with chronic pain, and the first to develop intensive treatments for patients with complexly disabling multiple pain disorders.

The School for Health specialises in research into the promotion and maintenance of healthy living, with a particular emphasis on the management of long-term conditions, the treatment of life limiting conditions, and the promotion of positive mental health.

Notes

The RNHRD NHS Foundation Trust, also known as the Min, is a national specialist rehabilitation and rheumatology hospital based in Bath. Offering services to adults, children and young people the trust has expertise general and complex: chronic pain, rheumatological and musculoskeletal conditions, neurological rehabilitation,and chronic fatigue syndrome / ME. http://www.rnhrd.nhs.uk


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