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Br J Pain. 2018 May;12(2):104-112. doi: 10.1177/2049463717734015. Epub 2017 Sep 26.

Evaluation of uptake and effect on patient-reported outcomes of a clinician and patient co-led chronic musculoskeletal pain self-management programme provided by the UK National Health Service.

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Cambridge Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK.


In the United Kingdom, chronic pain affects approximately 28 million adults, creating significant healthcare and socio-economic costs. The aim was to establish whether a programme designed to use best evidence of content and delivery will be used by patients with significant musculoskeletal pain problems. Of 528 patients recruited, 376 participated in a 7-week-long group-based self-management programme (SMP) co-delivered by clinical and lay tutors. Of these, 308 patients (mean age, 53 years; 69% females, 94% White) completed at least five SMP sessions. Six months after pre-course assessment, participants reported significantly improved patient activation and health status, lower depression and anxiety scores, decreased pain severity and interference, and improved self-management skills. There were no improvements in health state and pain self-efficacy. Uptake rate was 71% and completion 82%. The results should be of value to commissioners of pathways of care for the large numbers of patients attending the English NHS for chronic musculoskeletal pain.


Chronic pain; patient activation; self-efficacy; self-management; service evaluation

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of interest: The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship and/or publication of this article.

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