The Psychological Society of Ireland



The Psychological Society of Ireland,
Floor 2, Grantham House,
Grantham Street, Dublin 8, D08 W8HD.


This is what it is really like - Children living with chronic pain - How can we help?


From Quantitative research to Qualitative understandings of what life is like for primary school children living with chronic pain 

Venue: PSI Offices, Floor 2, Grantham House, Grantham Street, Dublin 8
Date: 13 October 2017
Time: 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm
Learning Credits: 2

Fees: PSI Member €30.00, Non-PSI Member €40.00
(places are limited)


Primary school children and chronic pain – is it a problem and how does it affect their lives and ability to engage with every day activities?

This seminar will explore how to work with children who live with chronic pain to gain an understanding of how pain affects their lives in the present tense – i.e. without adult filter or censure.
So sharing research that moved from a longitudinal prevalence, impact and cost study to participative health research workshops with children living with chronic pain and their primary care givers.

For whom? 
Psychologists, Researchers, Parents and Teachers, Health and Social Care Professionals

Teaching objectives

  • Participants will have an insight into the main issues facing children who live with JIA in particular.
  • We will watch the video made by the children and researchers to raise awareness of the main issues that prevent children with chronic pain from participating fully in school and some of the solutions the children believe will help them.
  • Participants will also experience a participative health research workshop that can be adapted to work with any population group. 


  • Practical skills in participative health research methods
  • Raised awareness of the reality of living with chronic pain as a child.
  • Ideas on how best to support children living with chronic pain

Methods of teaching
This will be a presentation as well as discussion of the findings of PRIME C and the children’s video and the implications both pieces of research have for participants’ own work.
In addition we will work through a creative and interactive PHR workshop that taps into Collective Intelligence, to explore how the process works.

Dr Siobhán O’Higgins is a clinical researcher working with the Centre for Pain Research in the School of Psychology, NUI Galway. Much of my work seeks to promote and uphold children’s right to speak out, be heard, and have their views considered in decision-making, particularly in the context of research relating to their health and wellbeing. But true engagement with children is not that easy. Participative health research has the potential to not only capture perspectives and experiences, but also provide opportunities for children to shape research topics, research methods, and the interpretation and reporting of findings. Following on from PRIME –C, (a longitudinal school based study exploring the prevalence, impact and cost of chronic pain among 5-12 year olds living in Ireland), the young children highlighted how pain impacts on their daily lives and, in the search for viable solutions, we are now working together to create a video that will raise awareness among teachers and parents.

Dr O’Higgins has been working with children and adolescents since 1990 as a sexual health promoter and a researcher since 2002.  She has shared her insights on participative health research methods with other researchers and psychologists working in Australia, across Europe and the UK as well as in Ireland.
She is a member of the International Collaboration of Participative Health Researchers who meet annually to write papers and books and create working collaborations on funding applications.

Booking Availability

Places Available

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PSI member (€30.00)
Non PSI member (€40.00)


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