Training peers to support older people with chronic low back pain following physiotherapy discharge: a feasibility study

Kay Cooper (Lead / Corresponding author), Llinos Mary Jehu, Susan Klein, Blair H. Smith, Patricia Schofield

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    Abstract

    Objective: 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.

    Design: Feasibility study.

    Setting: Community-based.

    Participants: 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.

    Intervention: 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.

    Main Outcome Measures: Recruitment/retention rates; demographics; time & resources used to deliver training; training evaluation (questionnaire); knowledge questionnaire, and self-efficacy questionnaire.

    Results: 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.

    Conclusions: 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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)239-247
    Number of pages9
    JournalPhysiotherapy
    Volume104
    Issue number2
    Early online date13 Jul 2017
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

    Keywords

    • Chronic low back pain
    • Older adults
    • Peer support
    • Self-management
    • Training programme

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