Validity, Reliability, Feasibility, and Usefulness of Pain Monitor, a Multidimensional Smartphone App for Daily Monitoring of Adults with Heterogeneous Chronic Pain

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Abstract

Objectives:

Ecological momentary assessment is recommended in the management of chronic pain. Smartphone apps might be a useful tool for that purpose. This study goal was to develop and test a multidimensional smartphone app for adults with chronic pain. A multidisciplinary team developed app content after a series of meetings, considering clinical guidelines for pain measurement. Content included pain intensity and interference, fatigue, mood, perceived health status, activity level, side effects of the medication, use of rescue medication, and pain-related psychological constructs (catastrophizing, acceptance, fear, and coping).

Methods:

Thirty-eight participants (21-59▒y) used the app, called Pain Monitor, twice a day during 30 consecutive days. Patients completed a set of well-established measures at the beginning and end of study via paper-and-pencil. Weekly phone assessments were also made for pain intensity, pain interference, fatigue, and mood.

Results:

Construct validity was revealed by moderate-to-strong correlations between app content and traditional measures. Feasibility was supported by high compliance (between 70% and 82%) and high acceptability and ease of use. Both side effects of the medication and use of rescue medication were found to be useful tools to guide treatment.

Discussion:

The new assessment protocol in the app allows for an easy and rapid multidimensional assessment of chronic pain patients.

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