Feasibility of smartphone use in monitoring pain and symptoms among patients with serious illness

Korijna G. Valenti, Jaclyn Portanova, Jeffrey Laguna, Shinyi Wu, Kathleen Ell, Susan Stone, Susan Enguidanos


Background: Little is known about the feasibility and acceptability of using mobile technology among seriously ill older adults experiencing moderate to severe pain.
Objective: A smartphone application was tested for feasibility and acceptability of use among ethnically-diverse older adults experiencing moderate to severe pain. Additionally, authors aimed to document patient perceived barriers and facilitators of using the mobile device for pain monitoring.
Methods: Twenty-three participants were enrolled in a prospective feasibility study and followed for 75 days. Participants were provided prepaid smartphones with a preloaded pain application and were asked to send daily reports of pain to a palliative care physician within a managed care clinic. Pain was measured on an 11-point numeric rating scale (NRS) from no pain to worst ever; patients reporting a pain score of greater than 3 were contacted by a palliative care physician. Surveys on technology ease of use, usefulness, and intrusiveness were conducted at 30 days; qualitative interviews were conducted at the end of the 75-day study period.
Results: The study was completed fully by 74% of the sample. Qualitative analyses revealed several themes related to benefits of smartphone use in monitoring pain and symptoms While participants reported the physical challenges using the mobile application, most reported application useful, and 100% would recommend to others.
Conclusions: Older adults experiencing significant pain may be receptive to using mobile technology to monitor pain and transmit pain reports to physicians. However, simplified technological interactions are needed to overcome challenges experienced by older adults.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/cns.v4n3p18


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Clinical Nursing Studies
ISSN 2324-7940(Print)   ISSN 2324-7959(Online)

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