Quality statement 3: Self-management

Quality statement

Young people and adults with low back pain with or without sciatica are given advice and information to self-manage their condition.

Rationale

Low back pain and sciatica are common and recurrent conditions that can be long term. It is therefore important that the person learns how to manage their symptoms to reduce their pain and distress and improve their functioning and quality of life. Healthcare professionals can support the person's ability to self-manage their condition by giving reassuring advice about the benign nature of the condition, the high probability of a rapid improvement in symptoms and the importance of early return to normal life activities. These include returning to work where applicable, physical activity and exercise.

Quality measures

Structure

Evidence of local arrangements to ensure that staff have access to information and the knowledge needed to signpost to other services for young people and adults with low back pain with or without sciatica.

Data source: Local data collection, for example, service protocols.

Process

Proportion of young people and adults with low back pain with or without sciatica who are given advice and information to self-manage their condition.

Numerator – the number in the denominator who are given advice and information to self-manage their condition.

Denominator – the number of young people and adults with low back pain with or without sciatica.

Data source: Local data collection, for example, audit of patient notes.

Outcome

a) Number of repeat GP appointments for young people and adults with low back pain with or without sciatica.

Data source: Local data collection, for example, audit of patient notes.

b) Levels of satisfaction amongst young people and adults with the management of their low back pain with or without sciatica.

Data source: National Pain Audit 2012 and local data collection.

What the quality statement means for different audiences

Service providers (such as GP practices) ensure that staff have the knowledge and information needed to support young people and adults with low back pain with or without sciatica to self-manage their condition. This can include having the expertise to give verbal information, providing leaflets or giving information about access to exercise schemes such as walking support groups.

Healthcare professionals (such as GPs, nurses and physiotherapists) advise and provide information to young people and adults with low back pain with or without sciatica to help them self-manage their condition. This can include verbal information provided by a healthcare professional, leaflets, or information about access to exercise schemes such as walking support groups.

Commissioners (such as clinical commissioning groups and NHS England) ensure that the services they commission employ healthcare professionals with the expertise to give verbal information, provide leaflets or give information about access to exercise schemes such as walking support groups for young people and adults with low back pain with or without sciatica to self-manage their condition.

Young people and adults with low back pain with or without sciatica are given advice and information to manage their condition themselves. The information can cover the importance of continuing with normal activities and, where applicable, returning to work and access to exercise schemes such as walking support groups.

Source guidance

Low back pain and sciatica in over 16s (2016) NICE guideline NG59, recommendation 1.2.1.

Definition of terms used in this quality statement

Advice and information to self-manage their condition

People are provided with advice and information, tailored to their needs and capabilities, to help them self-manage their low back pain with or without sciatica, at all steps of the treatment pathway. It includes:

  • information on the nature of low back pain and sciatica

  • encouragement to continue with normal activities and access to exercise schemes.

[Adapted from NICE's guideline on low back pain and sciatica in over 16s, recommendation 1.2.1 with expert opinion]