Sensory Perception & Interaction Research Group

University of British Columbia

Full citation: 
Boerner KE, Desai U, Luu J, MacLean KE, Munzner T, Foladare H, Shen J, Gill J, Oberlander TF. “Making Data the Drug: A Pragmatic Pilot Feasibility Randomized Crossover Trial of Data Visualization as an Intervention for Pediatric Chronic Pain." Children. 2023; 10(8):1355.
Data tracking is a common feature of pain e-health applications, however, viewing visual- izations of this data has not been investigated for its potential as an intervention itself. We conducted a pilot feasibility parallel randomized cross-over trial, 1:1 allocation ratio. Participants were youth age 12–18 years recruited from a tertiary-level pediatric chronic pain clinic in Western Canada. Par- ticipants completed two weeks of Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) data collection, one of which also included access to a data visualization platform to view their results. Order of weeks was randomized, participants were not masked to group assignment. Objectives were to establish feasibility related to recruitment, retention, and participant experience. Of 146 youth approached, 48 were eligible and consented to participation, two actively withdrew prior to the EMA. Most participants reported satisfaction with the process and provided feedback on additional variables of interest. Technical issues with the data collection platform impacted participant experience and data analysis, and only 48% viewed the visualizations. Four youth reported adverse events not related to visualizations. Data visualization offers a promising clinical tool, and patient experience feedback is critical to modifying the platform and addressing technical issues to prepare for deployment in a larger trial.
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