Training peers to support older people with chronic low back pain following physiotherapy discharge

The objective of this article was to determine the feasibility and acceptability of a training programme for peer volunteers to support older adults with chronic low back pain (CLBP) following discharge from physiotherapy.

17 adults (4 male, 13 female) with CLBP or experience of supporting someone with CLBP enrolled and 12 (2 male, 10 female) completed the volunteer training. Volunteers took part in a face-to-face or blended delivery peer support training programme based on the Mental Health Foundation’s “Principles into Practice” and adapted for CLBP by the study team.

17 participants enrolled on the training programme (11 face-to-face, 6 blended delivery). 12 (71%) completed the training (73% face-to-face, 67% blended delivery). The training was positively evaluated. All but two participants passed the knowledge quiz at the end of the training, and the majority of self-efficacy scores (90%) were high. It is feasible to develop, implement and evaluate a peer support training programme for the facilitation of CLBP self-management in older adults following discharge from physiotherapy. Blended delivery of training may facilitate the recruitment of greater numbers of peer support volunteers in future studies. Supported self-management of CLBP pain is widely recommended but can be difficult to achieve. Peer support might be a promising method of facilitating CLBP self-management without additional burden to health services, and should be further evaluated in a larger study.

Neck Pain

Out of all 291 conditions studied in the Global Burden of Disease 2010 Study, neck pain ranked 4th highest in terms of disability and 21st in terms of overall burden.

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