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

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Abstract

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.

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