Research Leaders Award

Prof. Brian McGuire was recently awarded the HRB Research Leaders Award, which provides funding for a team of researchers to investigate multimorbidity, chronic pain, and the application of ehealth solutions.


Multimorbidity is the co-occurrence of multiple chronic conditions in one person, where no one condition is considered primary, such as arthritis, depression, and chronic pain (Boyd & Fortin, 2010).

Research has shown that multimorbidity is associated with a number of negative outcomes, such as a decline in physical and mental functioning, a decreased quality of life and a greater risk of mortality. As chronic pain is highly correlated with multimorbidity, and is consistently identified as one of the most common conditions in those with multimorbidity,  it is important for research to focus on the prevalence and relationship between the two more closely.


E-Health is the other primary focus of the RLA research programme. E-Health encompasses a wide array of technologies and media including online treatment programmes, mobile phone technology, social media and telehealth services. The research programme will utilise a range of technologies to make psychological therapies available to people with chronic pain in the context of multimorbid medical conditions. 

Prevalence of Multimorbidity

Our current research project is the first step in the larger HRB funded initiative and is focused on investigating the prevalence, impact and cost of multimorbidity in people with chronic pain in Ireland. Participants will be recruited directly and invited to complete a questionnaire which we have devised to assess several aspects of their experience of chronic pain and multimorbidity. Through this approach we hope to reach as many people as possible who experience multimorbidity where chronic pain is a central feature and to gain an accurate insight into the prevalence of multimorbidity in Ireland.


We are also interested in helping people with multimorbidity to manage their conditions in the best way possible. To that end, we will shortly be running a study to investigate the effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) in improving quality of life for those with multimorbidity. The ACT approach promotes acceptance and mindfulness, and aims to increase functioning and value-driven actions. Participants will take part in an 8 week online programme of ACT specifically designed for multimorbidity, and will be assessed before and after to determine the effects of the programme.  

Further Projects

The HRB have awarded the CPR with further funding through the Knowledge and Dissemination Scheme (KEDS) to extend the planned research and expand dissemination of knowledge to a larger audience.

The main aim of the KEDS funded project is to develop a multimorbidity research platform that will engage all multimorbidity stakeholders. This will be available to the public for them to avail of general information and research findings on multimorbidity and free digitised interventions and materials developed from multimorbidity research findings.
It will also be available to healthcare professionals and will contain digitised tools such as our Multimorbidity Checklist, which contains a list of the most common chronic conditions as identified from multimorbidity research. The platform will also function as a host to a repository for researchers in multimorbidity, to produce a multimorbidity data bank for future research use.