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Article

Characterizing Breakthrough Cancer Pain Using Ecological Momentary Assessment with a Smartphone App: Feasibility and Clinical Findings

1
Consorcio Hospitalario Provincial de Castellón, Pain and Radiotherapy Units, 12002 Castellón, Spain
2
Department of Basic and Clinical Psychology and Psychobiology, Universitat Jaume I, 12071 Castellón, Spain
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Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de Aragón, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain
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Department of Personality, Assessment, and Psychological Treatments, Universidad de Valencia, 46010 Valencia, Spain
5
CIBER of Physiopathology of Obesity and Nutrition (CIBERON), 28029 Madrid, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(11), 5991; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18115991
Received: 10 May 2021 / Revised: 29 May 2021 / Accepted: 1 June 2021 / Published: 3 June 2021
Background: mobile applications (apps) facilitate cancer pain ecological momentary assessment (EMA) and provide more reliable data than retrospective monitoring. The aims of this study are (a) to describe the status of persons with cancer pain when assessed ecologically, (b) to analyze the utility of clinical alarms integrated into the app, and (c) to test the feasibility of implementing an app for daily oncological pain monitoring. Methods: in this feasibility study, 21 patients (mean age = 56.95 years, SD = 10.53, 81.0% men) responded to an app-based evaluation of physical status (baseline and breakthrough cancer pain (BTcP)) and mental health variables (fatigue, mood, and coping) daily during 30 days. Results: cancer pain characterization with the app was similar to data from the literature using retrospective assessments in terms of BTcP duration and perceived medication effectiveness. However, BTcP was less frequent when evaluated ecologically. Pain, fatigue, and mood were comparable in the morning and evening. Passive coping strategies were the most employed daily. Clinical alarms appear to be useful to detect and address adverse events. App implementation was feasible and acceptable. Conclusion: apps reduce recall bias and facilitate a rapid response to adverse events in oncological care. Future efforts should be addressed to integrate EMA and ecological momentary interventions to facilitate pain self-management via apps. View Full-Text
Keywords: breakthrough cancer pain; ecological momentary assessment; smartphone application; pain management; pain characterization breakthrough cancer pain; ecological momentary assessment; smartphone application; pain management; pain characterization
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MDPI and ACS Style

Villegas, F.; Martínez-Borba, V.; Suso-Ribera, C.; Castilla, D.; Zaragoza, I.; García-Palacios, A.; Ferrer, C. Characterizing Breakthrough Cancer Pain Using Ecological Momentary Assessment with a Smartphone App: Feasibility and Clinical Findings. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 5991. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18115991

AMA Style

Villegas F, Martínez-Borba V, Suso-Ribera C, Castilla D, Zaragoza I, García-Palacios A, Ferrer C. Characterizing Breakthrough Cancer Pain Using Ecological Momentary Assessment with a Smartphone App: Feasibility and Clinical Findings. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(11):5991. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18115991

Chicago/Turabian Style

Villegas, Francisco, Verónica Martínez-Borba, Carlos Suso-Ribera, Diana Castilla, Irene Zaragoza, Azucena García-Palacios, and Carlos Ferrer. 2021. "Characterizing Breakthrough Cancer Pain Using Ecological Momentary Assessment with a Smartphone App: Feasibility and Clinical Findings" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 11: 5991. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18115991

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