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.
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.
- Chronic low back pain
- Older adults
- Peer support
- Training programme