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.
Keywords: Chronic pain; patient activation; self-efficacy; self-management; service evaluation.