Professor Denis Martin
As a Professor of Rehabilitation, Denis Martin’s research focuses on the assessment and management of chronic pain.
Figures suggest that up to 50% of older people have their quality of life reduced because they are living with pain that could be better managed.
‘As a researcher, I’m trying to find out more about this and develop and deliver ways of improving how they can manage their pain.’
Professor Martin’s interest in the management of chronic pain started when he was studying his undergraduate degree at the University of Ulster in the 1980’s. That interest continued into his PhD and through his professional career, resulting in a wide range of published work and collaborative projects.
‘My main area of interest is in researching the assessment and management of chronic pain.
‘Figures vary but a rough figure would suggest that up to 50% of older people have their quality of life reduced because they are living with pain that could be better managed. My research focuses on finding out more about their conditions and how they can self-manage their pain.’
Currently Professor Martin is involved in a four year collaborative study which is aiming to develop novel methods of helping older people with chronic pain to manage their conditions.
The study, Engaging with Older People in Developing and Designing Interventions for the Management of Chronic Pain (EOPIC), is a collaboration between Teesside University, Dundee University, Northumbria University, Aberdeen University and Greenwich University.
The research will produce reviews of evidence on the clinical and cost effectiveness of self-management methods for older people with chronic pain. In-depth interviews with older people and innovative ways of observing their day-to-day lives will give new insights into how pain affects their lives and what they are doing to manage it.
‘Our specific role at Teesside is to take the research findings and try to develop interventions and products which can have an impact on older people’s ability to self-manage their conditions.’
benefits of research:
For Professor Martin seeing the impact of his research is extremely important. He does not want to simply put ideas forward, but be able to put his ideas into practice.
‘We carry out a wide and varied range of research and one of the key aims is to make sure the research is applied so that it has a direct impact on the people with the conditions, on policy makers and feeds back into education.
‘It is very rewarding when you discuss some of the findings with older people who have been involved in a study and they can see how some of the ideas will have an impact on their quality of life.’
the Health and Social Care Institute:
Being a member of the Health and Social Care Institute allows Professor Martin to work alongside and share ideas with colleagues to promote support and develop high quality research on health and social care topics.
‘Within the Health and Social Care Institute, we have two strands of research – one is in public health and the other is in rehabilitation. We have a high degree of expertise that crosses between those two strands into physical activity. The research staff have a lot of expertise in these areas and we have a lot of very good working links in the UK and internationally.
‘Teesside University is a very interesting and positive place to do research – the facilities are very good, the general ethos in the University towards research is very good and I’m very fortunate to be working with a team of highly qualified and highly motivated colleagues, which makes a lot of difference.
‘Research funding and winning funding is vital to what we do and the University is very supportive in providing internal funding which gives us the ability to apply for these grants and to work up ideas to bring the money in.’
research at Teesside:
‘I think research is a vital component of a university. To call yourself a university these days you have got to invest in and nurture research and we are doing that very well at Teesside.
‘Teesside University is a very encouraging environment for researchers like myself. There is a good infrastructure built up to support research and there is a strong willingness from within the institution to allow researchers to develop their ideas – it is a very positive place to work.’
To call yourself a university you have to invest in research and we do that very well at Teesside.