Factors in sustained compliance to a symptom-reporting mobile application: implications for clinical implementation

Warren R. Bacorro, Stephanie Ann Balid-Attwell, Paolo G. Sogono, Catherine Joy T. Escuadra, Cielito Reyes-Gibby, Jocelyn C. Que, Teresa T. Sy Ortin


Background: The Internet-based Computerized Patient Assessment System (iComPAsS), a remote pain- and symptom-reporting application was developed to optimize pain monitoring and management. This sub-analysis sought to examine factors influencing compliance, to gauge the sustainability of its effects and to guide further development and implementation as part of usual care.
Methods: Patients ≥18 years old, with cancer and moderate-severe pain were randomized to standard pain management with pain diary or iComPAsS. Pain and symptom severity (using Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale) and compliance (to iComPAsS or diary) were evaluated at week 0, 3, 6, 12 and 20. The Treatment Self-regulation Questionnaire (TSRQ), used to assess patient motivation, was administered at week 0, 6, 12 and 20. Pain levels and compliance were compared between the groups using Student’s t-test. The Pearson Correlation Coefficient was used to examine the relationship between compliance and pain control, perceived competence in pain self-care, and Relative Autonomy Index (RAI).
Results: Out of 100 patients enrolled, 76 were included in the analysis (control; 37; iComPAsS, 39). Baseline pain levels and TSRQ characteristics were similar between the groups. Initial compliance and pain control at week 3 were significantly higher in the iComPAsS group. For the iCompAsS group, compliance directly correlated with uncontrolled pain and intrinsic motivation, and was more sustained compared to the control group.
Conclusions: The iComPAsS elicited rapid uptake and sustained compliance through intrinsic motivation. When adopting the iComPAsS for clinical use, patient baseline motivation levels may be assessed using the TSRQ, and depressive symptoms and other barriers to engagement must be identified.