• Project led by Sloan Medical Centre in Sheffield.
  • Based in GP surgeries in Sheffield.
  • Aimed to investigate whether a web-based resource could help people with chronic musculoskeletal pain improve their health literacy and self-manage their condition more effectively.
  • Worked with patients to co-design a website providing information about persistent pain and self-management techniques, and asked GPs to refer patients to the website and a peer support service.

The 'Please stop informing me' project investigated whether a web-based resource could help people with chronic musculoskeletal pain improve their health literacy and self-manage their condition more effectively.

The project team worked with patients to co-design online resources and test the capacity of peer support. Using an existing website www.sheffieldachesandpains.com as a starting point, the team followed an iterative plan, do, study, act (PDSA) cycle to create a product that reflected the needs of independent users as well as those who access the website alongside peer support.

GPs and physiotherapists signposted patients to the new website - www.sheffieldpersistentpain.com - and referred them to health trainers for one-to-one support. Participants needed to be over 18 years of age and diagnosed in primary care as having pain related to a musculoskeletal condition.

Who was involved

The project was led by a GP at Sloan Medical Centre who was also GP commissioning lead for musculoskeletal conditions for NHS Sheffield. Other team members included the research and evaluation manager at NHS Sheffield, a senior lecturer at the University of Sheffield School of Health and Related Research, and health trainers and project designers from health training organisation Shipshape.

Outcomes

A total of 327 patients enrolled in the programme and 4,192 people visited www.sheffieldpersistentpain.com

Patients reported that the information helped them to:

  • understand their medication and make efforts to reduce it
  • feel more confident when describing their condition and needs to their doctor
  • self-manage their condition with exercise and relaxation.

Challenges

Clinicians other than those in the project group needed encouragement to signpost patients to the website.