The application of psychologically informed practice: observations of experienced physiotherapists working with people with chronic pain

Review written by Robin Kerr info

Key Points

  1. Psychologically informed practice (PIP) by physiotherapists is recommended in the management of persistent pain.
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Physiotherapists working with people experiencing persistent pain may provide a bridge between traditional biomedical and psychosocial models of care if they are able to perform psychologically informed practice (PIP). Persistent pain devours massive healthcare resources, hence a major aim in therapy is the promotion of self-management. Current guidelines recommend PIP alongside classic physiotherapy to aid self-management. Other models of behavior change exist, however the majority of work on competencies has been in CBT (Cognitive & Behavioural Therapy) (1,2,3). This study sought to identify what four experienced physiotherapists, with a predominant focus on CBT, actually do in practice that qualifies as PIP.

Persistent pain devours massive healthcare resources.
Physiotherapists should focus on engaging and supporting the patient to self-manage.


Four London NHS physiotherapists with experience managing persistent pain patients were recruited. They all had at least 5 years of experience, including training in CBT and other PIP modalities. They all ran group exercise sessions over several weeks including gym

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