Usability Testing of the iPhone App to Improve Pain Assessment for Older Adults with Cognitive Impairment (Prehospital Setting): A Qualitative Study

Docking, Rachael and Lane, Matthew and Schofield, Patricia (2018) Usability Testing of the iPhone App to Improve Pain Assessment for Older Adults with Cognitive Impairment (Prehospital Setting): A Qualitative Study. Pain Medicine, 19 (6). pp. 1121-1131. ISSN 1526-4637

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OBJECTIVES. : Pain assessment in older adults with cognitive impairment is often challenging, and paramedics are not given sufficient tools/training to assess pain. The development of a mobile app may improve pain assessment and management in this vulnerable population. We conducted usability testing of a newly developed iPhone pain assessment application with potential users, in this case as a tool for clinical paramedic practice to improve pain assessment of older adults with cognitive impairment. METHODS. : We conducted usability testing with paramedic students and a Delphi panel of qualified paramedics. Participants studied the app and paper-based algorithm from which the app was developed. The potential use for the app was discussed. Usability testing focus groups were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using a thematic approach. Proposed recommendations were disseminated to the Delphi panel that reviewed and confirmed them. RESULTS. : Twenty-four paramedic students from two UK ambulance services participated in the focus groups. Usability of the app and its potential were viewed positively. Four major themes were identified: 1) overall opinion of the app for use in paramedic services; 2) incorporating technological applications into the health care setting; 3) improving knowledge and governance; and 4) alternative uses for the app. Subthemes were identified and are presented. DISCUSSION. : Our results indicate that the pain assessment app constitutes a potentially useful tool in the prehospital setting. By providing access to a tool specifically developed to help identify/assess pain in a user-friendly format, paramedics are likely to have increased knowledge and confidence in assessing pain in patients with dementia.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in 'Pain Medicine' following peer review. The version of record is available online at:
Keywords: dementia, pain assessment, iPhone app, paramedic science
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Dr Rachael Docking
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2017 11:14
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:57

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