Feasibility and acceptability to use a smartphone-based manikin for daily longitudinal self-reporting of chronic pain

Syed Mustafa Ali*, David A. Selby, Darryl Bourke, Ramiro D. Bravo Santisteban, Alessandro Chiarotto, Jill Firth, Ben James, Ben Parker, William G. Dixon, Sabine N. van der Veer

*Corresponding author for this work

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As management of chronic pain continues to be suboptimal, there is a need for tools that support frequent, longitudinal pain self-reporting to improve our understanding of pain. This study aimed to assess the feasibility and acceptability of daily pain self-reporting using a smartphone-based pain manikin. 


For this prospective feasibility study, we recruited adults with lived experience of painful musculoskeletal condition. They were asked to complete daily pain self-reports via an app for 30 days. We assessed feasibility by calculating pain report completion levels, and investigated differences in completion levels between subgroups. We assessed acceptability via an end-of-study questionnaire, which we analysed descriptively. 


Of the 104 participants, the majority were female (n = 87; 84%), aged 45-64 (n = 59; 57%), and of white ethnic background (n = 89; 86%). The mean completion levels was 21 (± 7.7) pain self-reports. People who were not working (odds ratio (OR) = 1.84; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.52-2.23) were more likely, and people living in less deprived areas (OR = 0.77; 95% CI, 0.62-0.97) and of non-white ethnicity (OR = 0.45; 95% CI, 0.36-0.57) were less likely to complete pain self-reports than their employed, more deprived and white counterparts, respectively. Of the 96 participants completing the end-of-study questionnaire, almost all participants agreed that it was easy to complete a pain drawing (n = 89; 93%). 


It is feasible and acceptable to self–report pain using a smartphone–based manikin over a month. For its wider adoption for pain self–reporting, the feasibility and acceptability should be further explored among people with diverse socio–economic and ethnic backgrounds.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDigital Health
Early online date16 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article: The University of Manchester's Medical Research Council's Confidence in Concept scheme 8 (grant number: MC_PC_19046) funded this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.


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