Facilitators and Barriers to Implementation of a Peer Support Intervention for Patients with Chronic Pain: A Qualitative Study

Sarah A. Shue, Alan B. Mcguire, Marianne S. Matthias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: Pain self-management information and support, delivered by peers, are a potentially useful approach to help patients who are struggling to manage their chronic pain. Before implementation into clinical settings, it is important to understand factors that may influence the success of implementation. The purpose of this study was to explore facilitators and barriers to implementation of peer support for chronic pain. Design: Semistructured interviews were conducted with clinicians who provide care to patients with chronic pain, regarding their perceptions of the proposed peer support intervention. Setting: A single US Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Subjects: Using maximum variation sampling, 15 providers were interviewed (11 women, four men). Clinicians' disciplines included primary care, physical therapy, nursing, clinical psychology, social work, and pharmacy. Results: Findings indicated that clinicians 1) had an overall positive perception of the intervention; 2) had specific intervention outcomes they wanted for patients; 3) anticipated that the intervention could positively influence their role; 4) anticipated barriers to intervention participation and maintenance; and 5) had concerns regarding peer coach selection. Findings are discussed in the context of the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research. Conclusions: Understanding clinician perceptions of a peer support intervention is critical for successful implementation. The feedback collected in this study will facilitate implementation of the intervention on a broader scale, allowing more patients to benefit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1311-1320
Number of pages10
JournalPain Medicine (United States)
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019


  • Chronic Pain
  • Clinician Perspective
  • Peer Coach
  • Qualitative
  • Veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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