The perceptions of older adults living with chronic musculoskeletal pain about participating in an intervention based on a behavioral medicine approach to physical therapy
Background: There is evidence that interventions based on a behavioral medicine approach to physical therapy (BMPI) are beneficial for older adults living with chronic pain; however, knowledge of the perceptions of older people regarding their participation in BMPI is lacking. Aim: The aim of this study was to describe the perceptions of older people about being participants in a home-based BMPI. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 older adults living with chronic pain and participating in a BMPI. Data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Results: The respondents highlighted the importance of the home-based and individualized nature of the intervention. They perceived the support from the physical therapist (PT) as significant for their motivation and goal attainment. The benefits of the intervention were described in physical, psychological, social, and functional terms and as enabling participants to live at home for longer. Conclusion: The results show that participation in a BMPI was perceived as a positive and meaningful experience. Support from a PT is crucial to encouraging behavioral changes. Finally, participation in a BMPI may contribute to the ability of participants to “age in place” for longer.