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Development and Testing of Painometer: A Smartphone App to Assess Pain Intensity

  • Rocío de la Vega
    Affiliations
    Unit for the Study and Treatment of Pain–ALGOS, Research Center for Behavior Assessment (CRAMC), Department of Psychology and Institut d’Investigació Sanitària Pere Virgili, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain
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  • Roman Roset
    Affiliations
    Unit for the Study and Treatment of Pain–ALGOS, Research Center for Behavior Assessment (CRAMC), Department of Psychology and Institut d’Investigació Sanitària Pere Virgili, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain
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  • Elena Castarlenas
    Affiliations
    Unit for the Study and Treatment of Pain–ALGOS, Research Center for Behavior Assessment (CRAMC), Department of Psychology and Institut d’Investigació Sanitària Pere Virgili, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain
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  • Elisabet Sánchez-Rodríguez
    Affiliations
    Unit for the Study and Treatment of Pain–ALGOS, Research Center for Behavior Assessment (CRAMC), Department of Psychology and Institut d’Investigació Sanitària Pere Virgili, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain
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  • Ester Solé
    Affiliations
    Unit for the Study and Treatment of Pain–ALGOS, Research Center for Behavior Assessment (CRAMC), Department of Psychology and Institut d’Investigació Sanitària Pere Virgili, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain
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  • Jordi Miró
    Correspondence
    Address reprint requests to Jordi Miró, PhD, Departament de Psicologia, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, 43007 Tarragona, Spain.
    Affiliations
    Unit for the Study and Treatment of Pain–ALGOS, Research Center for Behavior Assessment (CRAMC), Department of Psychology and Institut d’Investigació Sanitària Pere Virgili, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain
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      Abstract

      Electronic and information technologies are increasingly being used to assess pain. This study aims to 1) introduce Painometer, a smartphone app that helps users to assess pain intensity, and 2) report on its usability (ie, user performance and satisfaction) and acceptability (ie, the willingness to use it) when it is made available to health care professionals and nonprofessionals. Painometer includes 4 well-known pain intensity scales: the Faces Pain Scale–Revised, the numerical rating scale–11, the Coloured Analogue Scale, and the visual analog scale. Scores reported with these scales, when used in their traditional format, have shown to be valid and reliable. The app was tested in a sample of 24 health care professionals and 30 nonprofessionals. Two iterative usability cycles were conducted with a qualitative usability testing approach and a semistructured interview. The participants had an average of 10 years' experience in using computers. The domains measured were ease of use, errors in usage, most popular characteristics, suggested changes, and acceptability. Adding instructions and changing format and layout details solved the usability problems reported in cycle 1. No further problems were reported in cycle 2. Painometer has been found to be a useful, user-friendly app that may help to improve the accuracy of pain intensity assessment.

      Perspective

      Painometer, a smartphone app to assess pain intensity, shows good usability and acceptability properties when used by health care professionals and nonprofessionals.

      Key words

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