Researchers of the University Health Network published a user engagement study of the pain management app, Manage My Pain, in Sage Journals’ DIGITAL HEALTH. The app was offered to patients of the Transitional Pain Service at the Toronto General Hospital, which has been ranked as the 4th best hospital by Newsweek. The researchers found that the rates of user registration and retention were favorable compared to those reported by other applications.
Patients are enrolled in the Transitional Pain Service (TPS) following a major surgery such as a transplant. They are provided with a multi-disciplinary approach to pain management to help prevent chronic post-surgical pain and long-term opioid use. Manage My Pain is offered to all patients to self-manage their pain, record their progress, and communicate with their clinical team. The study focused on the willingness of patients to use the app and then evaluated how many went on to register and use the app over a prolonged period. “With the surge in digital solutions, it is important to understand which ones patients will actually use instead of focusing solely on the clinical impact,” says Dr. Max Slepian, Clinical Psychologist at the University Health Network and one of the lead authors of the study.
Of the 196 patients who consented to the larger study, 132 (67%) also provided consent to the Manage My Pain component, indicating that they found the app to be an acceptable treatment adjunct, and 119 (61%) went on to complete registration. Of those who used the app, 67.9% and 43.2% continued to use Manage My Pain beyond 30 and 90 days, respectively.
“Given the positive feedback from our patients, we have integrated this digital innovation as standard of care alongside other services in order to improve the self-management component of our comprehensive pain management program,” added Dr. Hance Clarke, Director of Pain Services at the Toronto General Hospital and the senior responsible author of the study.