App helps self pain management
Technology is helping people with chronic pain reduce their opioid use. The Pain ROADMAP mobile health platform has been developed using the results of research from Senior Occupational Therapist Dr Nicole Andrews.
As many as 20 per cent of the Australian population suffers chronic pain, which has played a significant role in the increasing rates of opioid dependence.
As a Clinical Specialist in Pain Management, Dr Andrews’s PhD research into the relationship between pain, activity and daily function has generated great interest for its role in potentially reducing opioid use in our community.
A large proportion of her thesis papers have now been published including three in PAIN (the official publication of the International Association of the Study of Pain), one of which has earned her a prestigious most cited paper award.
Dr Andrews has used her research to create a mobile health platform, Pain ROADMAP, that’s being implemented at RBWH’s Professor Tess Cramond Multidisciplinary Pain Centre.
“Pain ROADMAP is a mobile health platform that can identify what activities have caused a severe pain aggravation for individuals with chronic pain through monitoring procedures,” Dr Andrews said.
“Clinicians can use this information to provide specific feedback on how pain provoking activities can be altered and develop highly-specific, individualised treatment plans.”
A preliminary clinical trial has showed that Pain ROADMAP eliminates activity-related pain exacerbations and has resulted in 70per cent of participants ceasing their “as needed” opioid medication.
Increased productivity and improvements in mood were also observed.
With another seven research projects underway, as well as collaborations with the University of Queensland, CSIRO, Kaiser Research Institute in the US, and Orthopaedic Research Institute in the UK, Dr Andrews is working toward applying her knowledge to improve the self-management of chronic pain conditions.
“We are currently planning for an implementation of Pain ROADMAP across the wider health care system” she said.
“The pain community is very excited about the prospect of being able to use this technology to improve the lives of those who suffer from chronic pain.”
Dr Andrews was named Rising Star at the 2018 Metro North Research Excellence Awards.