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Open AccessArticle

Telemonitoring in Chronic Pain Management Using Smartphone Apps: A Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing Usual Assessment against App-Based Monitoring with and without Clinical Alarms

1
Department of Basic and Clinical Psychology and Psychobiology, Universitat Jaume I, 12071 Castellón, Spain
2
Department of Personality, Assessment, and Psychological Treatments, Universidad de Valencia, 46010 Valencia, Spain
3
Ciber Fisiopatologia Obesidad y Nutricion (CB06/03 Instituto Salud Carlos III) (Ciber Physiopathology Obesity and Nutrition, CB06/03 Instituto Salud Carlos III Health Institute), 28029 Madrid, Spain
4
Pain Clinic, Vall d’Hebron Hospital, 08035 Barcelona, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6568; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186568
Received: 18 June 2020 / Revised: 4 September 2020 / Accepted: 7 September 2020 / Published: 9 September 2020
Background. The usefulness of mHealth in helping to target face-to-face interventions for chronic pain more effectively remains unclear. In the present study, we aim to test whether the Pain Monitor mobile phone application (app) is well accepted by clinicians, and can help improve existent medical treatments for patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain. Regarding this last goal, we compared three treatment conditions, namely usual treatment, usual treatment with an app without alarms and usual treatment with an app with alarms. All treatments lasted one month. The three treatments were compared for all outcomes, i.e., pain severity and interference, fatigue, depressed mood, anxiety and anger. Methods. In this randomized controlled trial, the usual monitoring method (i.e., onsite; n = 44) was compared with daily ecological momentary assessment using the Pain Monitor app—both with (n = 43) and without alarms (n = 45). Alarms were sent to the clinicians in the presence of pre-established undesired clinical events and could be used to make treatment adjustments throughout the one-month study. Results. With the exception of anger, clinically significant changes (CSC; 30% improvement) were greater in the app + alarm condition across outcomes (e.g., 43.6% of patients experienced a CSC in depressed mood in the app + alarm condition, which occurred in less than 29% of patients in the other groups). The clinicians were willing to use the app, especially the version with alarms. Conclusions. The use of apps may have some benefits in individual health care, especially when using alarms to tailor treatments. View Full-Text
Keywords: chronic pain; smartphone app; telemonitoring; ecological momentary assessment; randomized controlled trial chronic pain; smartphone app; telemonitoring; ecological momentary assessment; randomized controlled trial
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MDPI and ACS Style

Suso-Ribera, C.; Castilla, D.; Zaragozá, I.; Mesas, Á.; Server, A.; Medel, J.; García-Palacios, A. Telemonitoring in Chronic Pain Management Using Smartphone Apps: A Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing Usual Assessment against App-Based Monitoring with and without Clinical Alarms. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 6568. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186568

AMA Style

Suso-Ribera C, Castilla D, Zaragozá I, Mesas Á, Server A, Medel J, García-Palacios A. Telemonitoring in Chronic Pain Management Using Smartphone Apps: A Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing Usual Assessment against App-Based Monitoring with and without Clinical Alarms. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(18):6568. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186568

Chicago/Turabian Style

Suso-Ribera, Carlos; Castilla, Diana; Zaragozá, Irene; Mesas, Ángela; Server, Anna; Medel, Javier; García-Palacios, Azucena. 2020. "Telemonitoring in Chronic Pain Management Using Smartphone Apps: A Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing Usual Assessment against App-Based Monitoring with and without Clinical Alarms" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 17, no. 18: 6568. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186568

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