An Exploratory Study to Develop the Sustainable Self Effective Exercise Development (SUSSED) Intervention
Understanding barriers to increasing physical activity in chronic pain
Chief Scientist Office, Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates
The majority of people living with chronic pain have activity levels well below expected for their age, and many are prescribed potentially harmful analgesics (e.g. opioids), which often impact on quality of life and are not always effective in managing chronic pain in the longer term. Increasing physical activity (PA) is a safe, effective treatment, but it is a potential intervention which is not used often. In this study, we aim to understand the barriers and facilitators to engaging with PA in people living with chronic pain. An understanding these barriers and facilitators will be framed within the Capability, Opportunity, and Motivation– Behaviour (COM-B) model, to design practical approaches for health behaviour change.
The study has successfully recruited to target, with the study team including people with chronic pain, as well as the Green Health Partnership. This project has involved: (1) conducting interviews with people living with moderate-severe chronic pain in order to understand barriers and facilitators (physical, social and psychological) influencing PA; (2) conducting interviews with health professionals, carers and other stakeholders to develop an understanding of how best to support engagement with PA in people living with chronic pain; and (3) to compare the reliability of different PA monitors (Fitbit and activPAL) to accurately measuring PA, and to examine associations between the use of these monitors and PA.
Data are currently being analysed and the results will inform the design of the SUstainable Self Effective Exercise Development (SUSSED) framework, which aims to produce a personalised PA plan for people with chronic pain, systematically taking account of all the relevant factors for each individual.