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Patients’ use of digital pens for pain assessment in advanced palliative home healthcare.
Linköping University, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Medical Informatics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Medical Informatics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Växjö University.
2008 (English)In: International Journal of Medical Informatics, ISSN 1386-5056, Vol. 77, no 2, 129-136 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Appropriate pain assessment is a necessary prerequisite for adequate pain control. A way to follow-up on the pain is to let patients use paper-based or electronic pain diaries.

Purpose: The aim was to explore and describe palliative home care patients’ experiences of assessing their pain by using a pain diary together with digital pen and mobile Internet technology.

Methods: A system for the follow-up of pain treatment was developed and evaluated by means of a qualitative cross-case content analysis. From December 2002 until September 2003 12 palliative patients, who initially assessed VAS pain ≥ 35 mm (VAS 0–100 mm), used the system. Patients reported their momentary pain intensity and the number of consumed extra doses of analgesics three times per day. Analysis data were collected from interviews with patients and spouses, questionnaires, medical records, and the system log.

Results: In spite of severe illness and difficulties in comprehending the technology and system intervention, patients found the pain diary and digital pen easy to use for pain assessment. Patients took a greater part in their own care and experienced an improved contact with their caregivers, which led to a sense of increased security. The medical records showed a quick response to variations in the patients’ health status by means of changes in medical treatment.

Conclusions: The pain assessment system for palliative patients using pain diaries together with digital pen and wireless Internet technology constitutes an effortless method and has positive influences on the care.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 77, no 2, 129-136 p.
Keyword [en]
Pain assessment; Visual analogue scale; Palliative care; Home care services, Hospital-based; Digital pens; Mobile phones; Internet
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-14169DOI: 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2007.01.013OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-14169DiVA: diva2:22777
Available from: 2006-11-30 Created: 2006-11-30 Last updated: 2009-05-06
In thesis
1. Towards Effortless Use of Information Technology in Home Healthcare with a Networked Digital Pen
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards Effortless Use of Information Technology in Home Healthcare with a Networked Digital Pen
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

When care is moved from the hospital to the home the demands for high quality care still remain. For problems arising from the geographical separation of patients and professional caregivers, information and communication technology may offer important solutions. The overall aim of this thesis was to describe relevant requirements, to design and implement an IT-based system, and finally to evaluate the system’s influence on symptom control and support for both patients/next-of-kin and professional caregivers in advanced home healthcare. Of importance were needs in basic as well as advanced home healthcare, as were usability perspectives of both patients and professional caregivers. Requirement areas such as security, mobility, and responsibility, which should be considered when monitoring patients in the home, were identified. A prototype system for everyday assistance for diabetes patients was designed, and a system for frequent pain assessment for palliative home healthcare patients using a pain diary, digital pen and mobile Internet technology, was developed and evaluated through a qualitative content analysis approach. Twelve palliative cancer patients and six professional caregivers participated. The data collected included an ease-of-use questionnaire, and interviews with patients, spouses and professional caregivers. Patients expressed increased and improved contact with the caregivers, increased participation in their own care, a sense of increased security, and easiness in using the equipment in spite of severe illness and difficulties in comprehending the technology and system intervention. The professional caregivers showed a shifting outlook towards the pain assessment method; an initial cautious outlook due to low expectations of the patients’ abilities to use the pain assessment method and the caregivers’ own reluctance to use the system and change their way-of-working. Despite this, the professional caregivers experienced positive outcomes in terms of an increased awareness of pain, and positive patient influences including increased participation in their care, increased security and improved changes in pain treatment as a response to reported pain assessments. In conclusion, the networked digital pen system provided an effortless method for pain assessment and had positive influences on the care. The results imply that digital pen technology is suitable for the assessment of symptoms by palliative patients since these patients often have a limited capacity to handle technology due to their state of health.

Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1039
Keyword
Home care services, Hospital-based, Requirements, Pain Assessment, Visual Analogue Scale, Palliative care, Digital pens, Mobile phones, Internet
National Category
Biomedical Laboratory Science/Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-7840 (URN)91-85523-17-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-10-06, Linden, Hälsouniversitetet, Campus US, Linköpings Universitet, Linköping, 09:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
On the day of the public defence date of the doctoral thesis the status of article III and IV was Submitted.Available from: 2006-11-30 Created: 2006-11-30 Last updated: 2009-03-05

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Lind, LeiliKarlsson, Daniel

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