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OBJECTIVES: Our objectives were two-fold: (i) to describe physiotherapists' experiences of implementing a cognitive behavioural approach (CBA) for managing low back pain (LBP) after completing an extensive online training course (iBeST), and (ii) to identify how iBeST could be enhanced to support long-term implementation before scale up for widespread use. DESIGN: We conducted semi-structured interviews with 11 physiotherapists from six National Health Service departments in the Midlands, Oxfordshire and Derbyshire. Questions centred on (i) using iBeST to support implementation, (ii) what barriers they encountered to implementation and (iii) what of information or resources they required to support sustained implementation. Interviews were transcribed and thematically analysed using NVivo. Themes were categorised using the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF). Evidence-based techniques were identified using the behaviour change technique taxonomy to target relevant TDF domains. RESULTS: Three themes emerged from interviews: anxieties about using a CBA, experiences of implementing a CBA, and sustainability for future implementation of a CBA. Themes crossed multiple TDF domains and indicated concerns with knowledge, beliefs about capabilities and consequences, social and professional roles, social influences, emotion, and environmental context and resources. We identified evidence-based strategies that may support sustainable implementation of a CBA for LBP in a physiotherapy setting. CONCLUSIONS: This study highlighted potential challenges for physiotherapists in the provision of evidence-based LBP care within the current UK NHS. Using the TDF provided the foundation to develop a tailored, evidence-based, implementation intervention to support long term use of a CBA by physiotherapists managing LBP within UK NHS outpatient departments.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





107 - 115


Behaviour change wheel, Evidence based practice, Implementation, Low back pain, Physiotherapy, Theoretical domains framework, Adult, Aged, Attitude of Health Personnel, Education, Continuing, Female, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Humans, Interviews as Topic, Low Back Pain, Male, Middle Aged, Physical Therapists, Physical Therapy Modalities, Professional Role, United Kingdom