Clinical Trial: Seeking amputees who suffer with chronic phantom limb pain to take part in a virtual reality-assisted clinical trial (Centre Pain Research NUIG)

January 5th, 2019

The Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway is looking for amputees who suffer with chronic phantom limb pain to take part in a virtual reality-assisted clinical trial that aims to reduce phantom limb pain.

Phantom limb pain, painful sensations that feel as if they originate from a missing limb, occurs after limb amputation for 50-80% of amputees and is associated with a number of negative outcomes, such as a decline in daily activities, sleep interference and a reduction in general quality of life.

Although more than 60 different treatments to reduce phantom limb pain have been proposed, controlled clinical trials on these treatments are scarce and tend to be of poor quality, meaning that we cannot tell for sure how effective these treatments are for reducing this type of pain. 

This trial uses two treatments which are believed to be effective in reducing phantom limb pain and will examine if there is something about one treatment that is more effective than the other. Both of these treatments take advantage of modern advancements in computer technology by attempting to train the amputated limb using virtual reality.

Participants in this trial will receive one of these two treatments. It is hoped that both treatments will reduce phantom limb pain but if one treatment does not give any improvement, participants will be offered the opportunity to try the other treatment.   

The trial will consist of 1 trial-assessment session and 15 treatment sessions, which will last approx. 2 hours and can be completed once per week, twice per week or five times per week.

This clinical trial is open to amputees who have had limb amputation at least 6 months ago and will take place at the beginning of 2019 in the School of Psychology, NUI Galway.

For further information on this trial, please email P.OREILLY18@nuigalway.ie, call 091-493288 or visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/centre_pain_research/