Quality and Usability of Arthritic Pain Self-Management Apps for Older Adults: A Systematic Review.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Pain Med, 2017
Issue Date:
2017-05-25
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Objective.:  To appraise the quality and usability of currently available pain applications that could be used by community-dwelling older adults to self-manage their arthritic pain. Methods. : A systematic review. Searches were conducted in App Store and Google Play to identify pain self-management apps relevant to arthritic pain management. English language pain management apps providing pain assessment and documentation function and pain management education were considered for inclusion. A quality evaluation audit tool based on the Stanford Arthritis Self-Management Program was developed a priori to evaluate app content quality. The usability of included apps was assessed using an established usability evaluation tool. Results. : Out of the 373 apps that were identified, four met the inclusion criteria. The included apps all included a pain assessment and documentation function and instructions on medication use, communication with health professionals, cognitive behavioral therapy-based pain management, and physical exercise. Management of mood, depression, anxiety, and sleep were featured in most apps (N = 3). Three-quarters (N = 3) of the apps fell below the acceptable moderate usability score (≥3), while one app obtained a moderate score (3.2). Conclusions.:  Few of the currently available pain apps offer a comprehensive pain self-management approach incorporating evidence-based strategies in accordance with the Stanford Arthritis Self-Management Program. The moderate-level usability across the included apps indicates a need to consider the usability needs of the older population in future pain self-management app development endeavors.
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