Feasibility evaluation of a pain self-management app-based intervention among older people living with arthritic pain: study protocol

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

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4 Citations (Scopus)
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Optimal management of chronic arthritic pain experienced by older adults involves applying active self-management strategies every day. Cost-effective and innovative strategies to help build older people’s pain self-management capability are required. This study protocol is designed to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary outcomes of a pain self-management app among older people living in the community with arthritic pain.

This is a phase I feasibility study. A pre-post test study design will be used to trial a freely available pain self-management app named Rheumatoid Arthritis Information Support and Education (“RAISE”) for 14 days. Thirty community-dwelling older people living with arthritic pain who use a smartphone will be recruited from (1) various community-based social clubs/organizations/groups or (2) via Facebook groups with potentially high number of older members. In addition, snowballing sampling approach will also be utilized.

These participants will trial the RAISE app, which was selected following a systematic evaluation of all available chronic pain apps by the investigator team. A face-to-face or telephone-based meeting will be organized with all consenting participants in order to seek their informed consent, download and set up the intervention app on their mobile device, be provided with app training, and complete the pre-test data (Time 1 (T1)). Participants will be asked to use the RAISE app as desired for 14 days. Post-test data collection (Time 2 (T2)) will occur on day 15. Data collected includes participant’s demographic and clinical information, pain scores, pain self-efficacy, and online technology self-efficacy. Participants will be invited to take part in a semi-structured telephone interview at T2 to explore their experiences of using the app.

An evaluation of patterns of app use, recruitment, retention, attrition rates, and analysis of the missing data will inform the study and intervention feasibility. Preliminary outcomes are participant’s pain intensity and interference, pain self-efficacy, and online technology self-efficacy.

This study will help us better understand the feasibility and acceptability of using this novel intervention among community-dwelling older people living with arthritic pain. The results will also help inform future pain app studies.

Trial registration
Australia New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12617000921381.
Original languageEnglish
Article number57
Number of pages7
JournalPilot and Feasibility Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

© The Authors 2019. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original authors and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.


  • Older adults
  • Pain management
  • Arthritis
  • Smartphone
  • App
  • Technology


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