New app helps people with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

The results of a study presented at the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress (EULAR 2015) demonstrated the value of a new interactive iPad app that helps young people with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) describe their pain. Almost all of the children preferred the new digital tool, aptly titled ‘This Feeling’, to other conventional methods and felt it was an interesting and engaging way to communicate about their experiences of pain.

“‘This Feeling!’ uses familiar technology that children and young people are comfortable with, encouraging them to describe the pain type, intensity, location, spread and emotional impact at a given time, by using an interactive manikin, adjustable pain icons, facial expressions, drawing tools and free text description. The app is a simple multidimensional approach to pain management that allows those with JIA to communicate the intricacies of their pain.”

Pain is the most common symptom of JIA, causing distress and negatively impacting on a child’s physical, social and emotional wellbeing. It is subjective, making it a challenge to comprehend how much pain someone is in, or the type of pain they are experiencing. This is a greater challenge in children, as they may be yet to develop the verbal communication tools needed to articulate how they feel.

“Despite advances in the diagnosis and treatment of JIA, pain is still poorly managed and this is distressing for both children and their parents. For every individual the feeling is unique, which can be hard to explain effectively, and for children, communication barriers also play a key role,” said Professor Wendy Thomson, Inflammatory Arthritis in Children Lead at the NIHR Manchester Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit.

You can read more about the study on the Research website.

More articles     Posted on: 18 June 2015