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Back skills training reaches more patients as key implementation data is gathered

More and more clinicians are accessing the free online iBeST programme, allowing them to deliver Back Skills Training (BeST) to their patients.

Back Skills Training (BeST) is a group based, structured 6-week, cognitive behavioural intervention for patients with low back pain. It aims to:

  • identify and modify maladaptive thoughts about low back pain;
  • unlock fear-avoidance behaviours;
  • promote confidence to move;
  • engage in self-management; and
  • increase participation in physical activities/exercise and hence improve disability and pain outcomes.

The original trial of the BeST intervention reported an increase in patient's physical activity levels and improvement to their disability and pain ratings 12 months after receiving the BeST intervention.

iBeST is an online programme, which trains practitioners in how to run BeST courses in their local services. The iBeST online training programme went live in March 2016. We currently have 180 NHS practitioners enrolled on the course and 18 have successfully completed the course and its knowledge tests. We will be providing NHS staff free access to this training for 12 months. If you are interested in this course visit to sign up.

Back Skills Training is now reaching many more patients across England and we are undertaking a BeST service evaluation study to collect implementation data. This will allow us to examine the usability and efficacy of BeST groups in UK clinical settings. We currently have eight participating sites collecting service evaluation data and another 7 sites are keen to participate. The first batch of service evaluation data was received in April 2016 and we continue to collect data until January 2018. We are still looking for more sites interested in participating in the service evaluation study. Any interested sites should contact Dr Beth Fordham.

This work is funded by the NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care Oxford.