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News & Media

Media Release

Date: 2 July 2015

Pioneering Adolescent Pain Programme hits 100

The Bath Centre for Pain Services is running its 100th chronic pain rehabilitation programme for young people and their parents. The service was the first residential pain rehabilitation programme in the UK, and has served as an international 'gold standard' for other centres across the world developing their own pain rehabilitation services.

Chronic pain has various causes and for some people the trigger is not known. Chronic pain is very difficult to manage with medication and often there is not a cure, so the service helps those living with chronic pain to find a way to manage their condition, reducing its impact on their everyday lives.

Chronic pain affects all areas of young people's lives such as going out with friends, going to school, sleeping and eating. The psychological effects of chronic pain are also far-reaching, so anxiety and low mood are common in young people struggling with the condition. Chronic pain doesn't just affect the young person experiencing it; it can also have a significant social, psychological, and financial impact on the young person's parents and on other children in the family.

During the three-week residential rehabilitation programme, young people and their parents attend the RNHRD for treatment that includes exercise, activity management and work on the thoughts and feelings that are common for people with pain. The programme is delivered by a highly-specialist interdisciplinary team, which includes Clinical Psychologists, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Nurse Specialists and Doctors.

The ultimate aim of the programme is to enable young people to live fulfilling, age-appropriate lives.

Dr Hannah Connell, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Lead at the Bath Centre for Pain Services said: "We know, from our research, that the programme helps transform the lives of the young people who attend. Not only is their feedback invariably and overwhelmingly positive, the majority of young people who attend the programme manage to make significant and lasting improvements in their lives. For example, a young woman who attended the programme was unable to leave her house. She couldn't sit, she could only lie down. She is now about to leave home and start university.

"The residential course gives young people a unique opportunity to work with a team who truly understands their condition and the impact it has on their lives – and to do this with the support of a parent is key for making the learning carry through into family life once they are back home.

"We are extremely proud to be celebrating our 100th adolescent pain rehabilitation programme, and to be a world-leader in chronic pain management. We look forward to delivering many more."

Notes to the Editor:

Bath Centre for Pain Services
The Bath Centre for Pain Services is one of the nationally-commissioned specialist services delivered by the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (part of the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust). The service treats and supports children and adults who are living with complex chronic pain associated disability. The service has an international reputation for the treatment and management of chronic pain and for its research in the field. The Bath Centre for Pain Services is accessed by people from across the whole of the UK.

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