CRPS UK - Living With Pain

Musings of a Researcher

Jacquie Chaston-Bailey

It is our pleasure at CRPS UK to introduce to you Dr Jacqueline Bailey. Jacqueline is a health psychologist and CRPS researcher studying the various psychological effects and impacts of having CRPS.

I have been a health psychologist, chartered with the BPS and registered with the HCPC, since 2008. I did my PhD on breastfeeding by young mothers, but that was just the research element of my psychology portfolio- I always had an interest in issues to do with pain right from when I carried out a work placement with the Haemophilia society as part of my Masters. Working at the RNHRD / UWE was my third post-doc, having already worked at Queen Mary’s, London University and also at the University of Bath. Before becoming a psychologist I used to be a teacher and now I am working as a CBT therapist, so I have certainly had a chequered, but interesting career.

As a health psychologist I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as a researcher- especially working at the RNHRD in Bath – both for the CRPS department and UWE. I carried out two projects: the first one was using EEG and other neurophysiological tests to compare people living with CRPS with others who either had fibromyalgia(FM), arthritis or healthy volunteers. The EEG results have yet to be analysed and there have been no publications based on this work yet- I shall leave that up to my colleagues! However the most interesting result for me was that both people with CRPS and people with FM who had heightened reactions to the mirror task (the opposite of mirror therapy) also had higher scores on a questionnaire measuring anomalous perceptions – not just the usual visual misperceptions and the ones often experienced around touch, but also misperceptions around smell, taste and sound. How that actually helps us treat people with CRPS I am not sure.

The second project was much shorter and was funded by charitable donations at the Min. It involved interviewing 6 couples where one of the partners had CRPS. One of the main findings was that the person with CRPS unfortunately felt like they were not worth being with – as they felt very insecure in their relationship because of the CRPS. However it also pointed to the possibility of more inclusion of the partner in the rehabilitation programme offered by the Min. How and when that will be implemented I don’t know, as I don’t work there anymore. I am now working on a self-employed basis seeing private clients for pain management and other psychotherapeutic treatments, mainly using CBT.
Please see my website: resolvingpain.co.uk

Dr Jacqueline Bailey CPsychol. AFBPsS

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