Evaluation of the implementation of the Back Skills Training (BeST) programme using online training: a cohort implementation study



1) Evaluate implementation of the Back Skills Training (BeST) programme, a group cognitive behavioural approach for patients with low back pain (LBP) developed for a clinical trial, into the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom; 2) Compare patient outcomes with the BeST Trial results.


Two stage observational cohort implementation study.


Stage 1: NHS Clinicians enrolled in BeST online training. Stage 2: Patients with LBP attending NHS physiotherapy departments and enrolled in the BeST programme.


An online training and implementation programme.


Stage 1: LBP attitudes and beliefs, self-rated competence, intention and actual implementation were collected before, immediately, 4- and 12-months post-training. Stage 2: Patients rated pain, function, recovery and satisfaction before and up to one year after attending the BeST programme.


Stage 1: 1324 clinicians (157 NHS Trusts) enrolled in the training; 586 (44%) clinicians (101 NHS Trusts) completed training; 443/586 (76%) clinicians provided post-training data; 253/443 (57%) clinicians intended to implement the programme; 148/381 (39%) clinicians (54 NHS Trusts) provided follow-up data; 49/148 (33.1%) clinicians (27 NHS Trusts) implemented the programme. Attitudes and beliefs shifted towards a biopsychosocial model post-training. Stage 2: 923 patients were enrolled. Patients reported improvements in function (mean change: 1.55; 95%CI: 1.25, 1.86) and pain (−0.84; −1.1, −0.58) at follow-up. The majority rated themselves improved and satisfied with the programme.


Online training had good reach into NHS Trusts although, not everyone went onto implement the programme. Improvements in function that were consistent with the original trial were demonstrated.