Opportunities and challenges around adapting supported employment interventions for people with chronic low back pain: modified nominal group technique

Robert Froud*, Pal Andre Amundsen, Serena Bartys, Michele Battie, Kim Burton, Nadine E. Foster, Tone Langjordet Johnsen, Tamar Pincus, Michiel F. Reneman, Rob J. E. M. Smeets, Vigdis Sveinsdottir, Gwenllian Wynne-Jones, Martin Underwood

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Purpose: To identify and rank opportunities and challenges around adapting supported employment interventions for people with chronic low back pain (LBP). Methods: Delegates from an international back and neck research forum were invited to join an expert panel. A modified nominal group technique (NGT) was used with four stages: silent generation, round robin, clarification, and ranking. Ranked items were reported back and ratified by the panel. Results: Nine experienced researchers working in the fields related to LBP and disability joined the panel. Forty-eight items were generated and grouped into 12 categories of opportunities/challenges. Categories ranked most important related respectively to policy and legislation, ensuring operational integration across different systems, funding interventions, and managing attitudes towards work and health, workplace flexibility, availability of "good" work for this client group, dissonance between client and system aims, timing of interventions, and intervention development. Conclusions: An expert panel believes the most important opportunities/challenges around adapting supporting employment interventions for people with chronic LBP are facilitating integration/communication between systems and institutions providing intervention components, optimising research outputs for informing policy needs, and encouraging discussion around funding mechanisms for research and interventions. Addressing these factors may help improve the quality and impact of future interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2750-2757
Number of pages8
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number19
Early online date3 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sept 2021


  • Chronic low back pain
  • supported employment interventions
  • Individualised Placement and Support (IPS)
  • health policy
  • nominal group technique
  • IPS

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