Research News

ASpida is about to be launched into the local communities

14 Dec 2022

Researchers from the University College Cork, the School of Applied Psychology hosted a two-day event to present and discuss in person the new training handbook of ASpida. They invited a group of individuals with chronic pain, members of the Chronic Pain Ireland (CPI) who participated in a series of activities that focused on pilot testing the new protocol.

ASpida is an innovative community-based program that aims to tackle the effects of stigma in chronic pain.

The ASpida team has spent three years collecting a mix of data from individuals with chronic pain, experiencing stigma, to develop a pioneer community-based brief intervention, focusing on teaching individual psychological skills that minimise the negative impact of stigma.

The ASpida team has conducted four research studies with other CPI members, evaluating their experience with the intervention material that together they have developed. The research team then used the results of this line of programmatic research to inform the development of the final ASpida protocol.

The ASpida team worked with members from Chronic Pain Ireland on the new protocol that consists of a training booklet for the facilitators and a detailed handbook, including all the necessary details facilitators will need to deliver the program to their local communities.



The ASpida team, under the mentorship of Dr. Vasilis S. Vasiliou and Dr. Conor Linehan, requested feedback on the new intervention. This consisted of a sample of the final workshop material as well as revising some training points that will be useful for future trainers and facilitators.

The program adopts the Train-the-trainer approach where members of the community receive training and guidance in a specific field to be able to train future members of the program. This makes the program sustainable in that it can be carried out internally by CPI into the future, with current facilitators being in the position to train future ones. In 2023, the ASpida will be officially launched as an awareness day-event by CPI, against stigma and across several local communities in the Republic of Ireland.

All the expenses for this two-day event were covered by the BMP Grant, 2nd edition (

For more on this story contact:

Dr Vasilis Vasiliou

School of Applied Psychology

Síceolaíocht Fheidhmeach

Cork Enterprise Centre, North Mall, Cork.,