Feasibility and acceptability of using smartphone-based EMA to assess patterns of prescription opioid and medical cannabis use among individuals with chronic pain
Anderson Goodell EM, Nordeck C, Finan PH, Vandrey R, Dunn KE, & Thrul J. (2021). Feasibility and acceptability of using smartphone-based EMA to assess patterns of prescription opioid and medical cannabis use among individuals with chronic pain. Internet Interventions: the Application of Information Technology in Mental and Behavioural Health, 26, 100460–100460. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.invent.2021.100460
This paper described the feasibility and acceptability of a smartphone-based Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) data collection tool among people who use multiple substances and suffer from chronic pain. Forty-six participants were recruited through targeted Facebook and Instagram advertisements and completed screening via the link in the ads. Eligible participants had an opioid medication prescription, current opioid use, a pain disorder, and a referral for medical cannabis. Participants completed prompted EMA surveys on a mobile app for 30 days. Surveys included questions about opioid medication use, medical cannabis use, and pain symptoms. Participants were prompted to respond to four randomly timed surveys (assessing the past hour) and one daily diary per day. A subsample of 10 participants completed qualitative interviews. On average, participants responded to 70% of past-hour surveys and 92% of daily diaries. During qualitative interviews, participants reported an overall positive experience, but identified some issues related to smartphone notifications, redundant questions, or being prompted to complete assessments when they do not feel well. Findings demonstrate the feasibility and general acceptability of using this methodology for examining patterns of medical cannabis and prescription opioid medication use among individuals with chronic pain. Engagement with the digital tool over the 30-day duration was comparable to previous work. This study has implications for informing larger-scale epidemiology studies, interventions, and assessments on a wider geographic scale.