Will WebMap, an on-line intervention for children with chronic pain, translate into the Irish context?

  • J. Egan
  • G. Darina
  • B. McGuire
  • L. Caes
  • T. Palermo


Background Chronic pain is a common problem among children and adolescents, and can have a severe impact on youth across several areas of a child’s daily functioning and quality of life. Family-based cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a commonly used, effective intervention for the treatment of chronic pain and disability in children. WebMAP has been shown to be effective in reducing pain intensity and activity limitations in a North-American sample of children but the implementation of such online interventions has not yet been tested with an Irish sample. Our aim is to conduct a preliminary evaluation of the feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of the Web-MAP programme with an Irish sample of adolescents aged 10 – 16 years old who suffer from chronic pain. Method: N= 20 families. The outcomes were assessed using a mixed design. Quantitative, subjective measures of pain (using web-based questionnaires and a diary) were taken from participants and their parents at baseline and post-treatment. Qualitative data were gathered from post-treatment interviews. Findings Preliminary analyses suggest substantial but non-significant reductions in pain intensity, disability and catastrophizing pre to post-treatment. Qualitative information revealed that participants find the programme useful, attractive, age-appropriate and interesting with sufficient information, but quite restrictive and time-intensive. Discussion The creation of a more flexible treatment approach to complement standard face-to-face care, appears to be feasible. But further research is necessary to explore how to improve the intervention to be more engaging for Irish children.