Enhancing exercise adherence in people with persistent musculoskeletal pain using a behaviour change approach

Persistent pain is pain that is prolonged beyond normal healing time, usually defined as three months. Approximately one in five Canadians suffer from persistent pain conditions such as low back pain, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia. These conditions account for $43-60 billion in healthcare costs. Prescribed exercise has been shown to decrease pain while increasing function and quality of life, however over half of patients with persistent pain do not adhere to the exercises they have been prescribed. There is a lack of research targeting exercise behaviours in a persistent pain population, and a shortage of multidisciplinary care available in Canada to treat these conditions. The proposed project builds upon proof-of-concept research established in the applicant’s PhD and will take a two-phase approach to test, refine and implement a novel empirically informed, theoretically driven intervention. The intervention employs group-based exercise and behavioural techniques to manage persistent pain and enhance adherence to exercise. This program will facilitate the Reh-Fit Centre’s mission to provide accessible programming underpinned by empirical evidence to support individuals with chronic and persistent conditions. Further, this research aims to alleviate the strain on the healthcare system by providing innovative, multidisciplinary care.

Faculty Supervisor:

Shaelyn Strachan;Sandra Webber


Laura Meade


Reh-Fit Centre




Professional, scientific and technical services


University of Manitoba



Current openings

Find the perfect opportunity to put your academic skills and knowledge into practice!

Find Projects