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Dr John O'Hanlon

Consultant in Pain Management

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John O'Hanlon has been a Consultant in Pain Management since February 1997. Dr O'Hanlon undertook his postgraduate training in the Northern Ireland Anaesthetic Training Scheme and further Pain Management training in the Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney Austra

“I believe that the management of persistent pain should use the biopsychosocial model. The patient is guided to identify the impact of the pain on their life and the strategies, good and bad, that they have developed to control their pain. Once these strategies are identified, the patient is assisted in helping themselves manage their pain. This assistance may come in the form of injection therapies such as epidural injections for back pain, genicular nerve blocks for knee pain or the use of pain management programmes.”

Throughout his time as a consultant he has watched the transition of pain management move from purely medical to a more holistic approach.

Dr O'Hanlon is specialty lead for pain services in the Belfast Trust, he was Lead Consultant for pain medicine in the Belfast Trust in December 2010 and Convenor Northern Ireland Pain Society since March 2012.

He was awarded a Fellowship of the Faculty of Pain Medicine from the College of Anaesthetists in Ireland in November 2009 and obtained a Masters in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in December 2010 from QUB.

Current NHS Posts

Pain Clinic Consultant - Belfast City Hospital



Biochemistry QUB 1985


QUB 1988

Fellow College of Anaesthetists in Ireland

Dublin 1992

Fellow of the Faculty of Pain Medicine College of Anaesthetist in Ireland

Dublin 2007

Master of Science (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)

QUB 2010

Additional Training

Professional bodies (Positions held in last 3 years)


Marley J, Tully MA, Porter-Armstrong A, et al. The effectiveness of interventions aimed at increasing physical activity in adults with persistent musculoskeletal pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. 2017;18:482. doi:10.1186/s12891-017-1836-2.

Marley J, Tully MA, Porter-Armstrong A, Bunting B, O’Hanlon J, McDonough SM. A systematic review of interventions aimed at increasing physical activity in adults with chronic musculoskeletal pain—protocol. Systematic Reviews. 2014;3:106. doi:10.1186/2046-4053-3-106.

Treatments and areas of interest

  • Persistent Pain - 60-70% of patients have a MSK origin for their persistent long-term pain. The managements of this type of pain has moved away from a pure medical focus to a BIOPSYCHOSOCIAL approach. Using a BIOPSYCHOSOCIAL approach I aim to help patients begin to develop their own self-management and coping strategies using a CBT based approach. The use of medications and injections do help, but should not be the only mode that patients use to manage their pain.

Kingsbridge Private Hospital
811-815 Lisburn Road, Belfast, BT9 7GX

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Dr John O'Hanlon

Pain Clinic

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