Feasibility and Utility of Pain Monitor: A Smartphone Application for Daily Monitoring Chronic Pain

  • Irene JaénEmail author
  • Carlos Suso-Ribera
  • Diana Castilla
  • Irene Zaragoza
  • Azucena García-Palacios
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering book series (LNICST, volume 288)


The way monitoring is performed in health settings in general and chronic pain in particular is mostly based on traditional, episodic, onsite evaluation. This assessment method has important limitations and might be negatively impacting the effectiveness of treatments by providing non-ecological, delayed, and retrospective information about the patients’ course over treatment. This pilot study explores the feasibility and discusses the utility of using technology (i.e., a smartphone app) for daily ecological momentary assessment of chronic pain patients. Twelve individuals attending a specialized pain clinic used the app twice daily for a month. Alarms were sent to the physicians in the presence of unwanted events (i.e., side effects). Feasibility was evidenced by excellent response rates in the patients (>80%) and the physicians (>93% of alarms were responded to). Utility of daily monitoring was evidenced when graphically representing patients’ responses, in which the fluctuation of pain within and across days evidences the need for daily assessment. The utility of alarms will also be discussed, considering the number of alarms received (i.e., 96), which would have remained undetected or belatedly detected with traditional assessment. The study evidences the utility and feasibility of EMA using apps both from the patients’ and the physicians’ perspective. We believe these findings are not only important for pain settings, but also relevant for other health conditions.


Ecological momentary assessment Smartphone app Feasibility Utility 


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Copyright information

© ICST Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irene Jaén
    • 1
    Email author
  • Carlos Suso-Ribera
    • 1
  • Diana Castilla
    • 2
    • 3
  • Irene Zaragoza
    • 3
  • Azucena García-Palacios
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Jaume I UniversityCastellóSpain
  2. 2.University of ZaragozaTeruelSpain
  3. 3.CIBER of Physiopathology of Obesity and Nutrition CIBERobn, CB06/03 Instituto de Salud Carlos III (Spain)MadridSpain

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