Apps for Older People’s Pain Self-Management: Perspectives of Primary Care and Allied Health Clinicians

Priyanka Bhattarai, Toby Newton-John, Jane L. Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background. Chronic arthritic pain is one of the major causes of physical suffering and disability among older people.
Primary care and allied health clinicians use various approaches to help their older clients better manage their arthritic pain. The growing uptake of technology among older people offers the potential for clinicians to integrate an
arthritic pain app into their patients’ self-management plans. This study explored the perspectives of Australian primary care and allied health clinicians regarding the use of pain self-management apps to help their older patients/clients better manage their arthritic pain. Methods. Qualitative design using a semistructured interview approach.
Interviews were conducted via telephone with primary and allied health clinicians (N ¼ 17) across Australia. Results.
The overarching theme underlying participants’ views on integration of apps into older people’s pain selfmanagement strategy was that this approach is an idealistic but uniquely challenging endeavor. Four subthemes
emerged, namely: 1) self-management apps are a potentially useful tool but require careful consideration; 2) clinicians’ involvement is crucial yet potentially onerous; 3) no single app is right for every older person with arthritic
pain; and 4) patient data access is beneficial, but caution is needed for real-time data access. Discussion. The predominant clinician perspective of integrating apps into their older patients/clients’ pain self-management strategies was
that this approach is an idealistic but uniquely challenging endeavor. Apps were seen as having potential to support
various aspects of patients’ self-management behaviors; however, there were notable concerns with regards to the
challenges inherent in this approach for both clinicians and older users (patients/clients).
Original languageEnglish
Article numberpnz218
Pages (from-to)686-694
Number of pages9
JournalPain Medicine
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Older Adults
  • Smartphone
  • App
  • Primary Care
  • Allied Health
  • Pain Management

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