Facilitators and Barriers to Participation in a Peer Support Intervention for Veterans With Chronic Pain

Clin J Pain. 2016 Jun;32(6):534-40. doi: 10.1097/AJP.0000000000000297.


Objective: To understand facilitators and barriers to participation in a peer support intervention for self-management of chronic pain.

Methods: After completing a pilot intervention study, peer coaches and their veteran patients took part in a qualitative, semistructured interview to explore their experiences with the intervention. Data were analyzed using an immersion/crystallization approach.

Results: Three facilitators and 2 barriers to patient participation in a peer support intervention for veterans with chronic pain emerged. Facilitators were (1) having a shared identity as veterans, (2) being partnered with a person who also has chronic pain, and (3) support from the study staff. Barriers were (1) logistical challenges, and (2) challenges to motivation and engagement in the intervention.

Discussion: Awareness of facilitators and barriers to participation in a peer-supported self-management program for chronic pain, as well as strategies to capitalize on facilitators and mitigate barriers, are essential for further study and ultimate clinical implementation of such a program.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health
  • Chronic Pain / psychology*
  • Chronic Pain / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Peer Group*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Self Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Social Support
  • Veterans