Self-assessing back pain by app just as good as traditional methods

Self-assessing back pain by app just as good as traditional methods

People with back pain can assess it using an app on their phone just as effectively as using the current paper methods, says a study from the University of Warwick.

The study, published in the journal Journal of Medical Internet Research, shows that digital versions of established measurements for assessing back pain are just as reliable, which opens the door to their use  for routine measurements and clinical trials.

For health issues that can’t be readily measured, such as pain and depression, clinicians will often use a paper-based self-assessment to monitor change. These go through very thorough validation exercises to ensure that they measure what they intend to robustly and accurately.

The researchers created mobile app versions of the most commonly-used measures in back pain trials: the Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire (RMDQ), visual analogue scale (VAS) of pain intensity, and numerical rating scale (NRS).

“We have taken existing outcome measures and shown that they can be migrated to digital media and used in that format just as effectively as their paper-based versions, said lead author Dr Robert Froud from the University of Warwick Clinical Trials Unit.  “Our intention is to develop technology that allows people to securely complete these kinds of assessments on their own phones and tablets in a way that is safe, secure and accurate.”

“If you can accurately monitor in clinical practice what’s happening to patients’ health, then analytically there is a lot that could be done with the data that will benefit patients. For example, we may be able to detect that particular treatment approaches are working better for certain types of people. We hear a lot about machine learning, but a learning healthcare system is perhaps next.

“The implications are quite big because we can aim to scale up. It opens up potential for the development of new instruments and dynamic instruments that adapt to the answers that a user gives. The potential of using digital technology in healthcare settings is quite extraordinary but you can’t do any of that without first having assessments that work robustly and well.”

Reliability and responsiveness were used as factors to determine whether their apps were measuring in the way that they should be. Reliability refers to the result of the measure not changing when nothing has changed, while responsiveness refers to a change in the result when a measurable factor has changed.

The researchers divided participants in the study into groups depending on whether they had recorded a change in their pain. People who had received treatment for their condition and improved tested the responsiveness of the apps. Those with chronic pain, and less likely to improve, tested the apps for reliability.

Digital tests have a number of advantages over paper-based versions, including their low cost, lower carbon footprint, better information security and improving the participant’s experience.

See Dr. Froud explain the study in greater detail:

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Authored by: Staff

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Dennis M lawson

i NOW HAVE MY WHOLE NECK FUSED,AND I WAS IN VERY BAD PAIN FOR TWO YEAR,HOSPITAL MY FAMILY ACTED LIKE EVERYONE IN SOME PAIN THEN THEY TOOK THE MRI ONE DISC HAD SLIPPED AND WAS CUTTING INTO MY SPINIAL CORD DOC SAID IF THEY HADDEN FOUND IT IT WOULD HAVE BEEN BAD NEWS,ITS THE SAME HEAR WITH MY PAIN MEDS I NOW LIVE IN PAIN NO HUMAN SHOULD BE IN,THEY WON’T RAISE IT,I NOW CAN’T EVEN LIVE AS A DISABLED PERSON AGAIN,NOW LOOKING AT BEING BED RIDDEN AGAIN,OR IF IT GETS SO BAD I CAN’T TAKE I CAN JUST STOP BY KILLING MYSELF,WHY DOING THIS ISN’T STOPPING THE JUNKIE’S,JUST TORTURING THE VERY PATIENTS WHO NEED THE MEDICINES (OPIOID) THAT WORK FOR THEIR VERY GREAT PAIN,THAT WHY THEY CALL THEM PAIN KILLER’S,MY MEDICINES AREN’T WORKING TOLD MY DOC,EVERYONE SO WHEN I DIE THEY WILL KNOW IT WAS FROM THEM KEEPING THE PAIN FROM ME TO RELIEF MY,THAT CALLED TORTURE,SO NO ONE WOULD HELP MY BODY COULD NO LONGER HANDLE THAT KIND OF PAIN,SO WE KNOW IT WASN’T FROM O.D.ING FROM THESE MEDICINE LIKE THE LIES ON THE CDC REPORT,YOU SEE THEIR A REAL GOD WHO’S GOING TO JUDGE THESE PERSON WHO’S DONE THIS GREAT EVIL IN HIS EYE’S,THEY EVEN WENT SO FAR AS TO TELL MY MOTHER TO TAKE THEM FROM ME,I WILL LET THEM IF I COULD PUT AS MUCH PAIN ON THEM AS I’M IN AND LET SEE THEN IF THEY CAN LIVE LIKE THAT.THEY SAID THEIR GOD WOULDN’T DO THAT TO THEM,I JUST SAID HITLER SAID THE SAME THING BUT HE IN HELL.

Jason Cook

After surviving brain cancer I’ve learned the MRI contrast contains the heavy metal gadolinium that supposed to safely excrete the body. Nope, it’s retained with a healthy kidney filtration rate. The heavy metal is wrapped with an agent because it’s toxic. The agent has a self life. The FDA finally said that maybe doctors might limit MRIs. The FDA has now limited the quality of our lives with chronic pain. The progress of medicine will slow when doctors need to saw, cut, and push to save lives without causing chronic pain. Doctors saved my life and I now question the incentive to fight a recurrence. The risk to reward of the FDA has taken a slid to the collective.

Heidi

Interesting. I wonder if this approach, by tracking pain related to treatments used, might finally provide a way to prove that, for chronic pain patients, there is NO one-size-fits-all treatment.

Once again the CDC and DEA quote inflated numbers of deaths from overdose. From CNN. The only thing about this we can confirm is the 3.7% increase in suicides. Why aren’t they concerned about that.

“From 2016 to 2017, life expectancy in the US ticked down again. The leading causes, once again, are more deaths from drug overdoses and suicides. The estimate of how long a person born in 2017 can expect to live in the United States is 78.6 years, a decrease of 0.1 year from 2016, a trio of new government reports say. The troubling stats should be “a wake-up call” for the nation, says CDC Director Robert Redfield. Overdose deaths hit a new high last year, topping 70,000, while the suicide rate increased by 3.7%, the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics reports.”

Eddy

Where do y’all find these people