Experience and usability of a website containing research-based knowledge and tools for pain self-management: a mixed-method study in people with high-impact chronic pain

Eva Laerkner, Laila Bendix, Madalina Jäger, Maj-Britt Hansen, Henrik Bjarke Vaegter

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Smerteinfo.dk is a freely accessible Danish website containing research-based, up-to-date knowledge on chronic pain, written in lay language, with a focus on information, guidance and self-management tools, developed in collaboration between health professionals and persons with high-impact chronic pain. This mixed-method study explored experiences, perceived usability, and challenges of Smerteinfo among patients with high-impact chronic pain.

METHODS: Semi-structured interviews enabling thinking-aloud and participant observation while using Smerteinfo were performed in 11 patients with high-impact chronic pain. Survey data were collected three months after being invited to use Smerteinfo among 200 patients on waiting-list at a Pain Center in Denmark.

RESULTS: Three themes captured the depth and variation in patterns of experiences, usability and challenges using Smerteinfo during interviews: 1) Appreciated easy access to new knowledge yet strived for more personalized information, 2) Experienced incentives as well as challenges when navigating the website, and 3) Suggested earlier introduction to the website. Challenges concerned the unknown update frequency of the website, information consisting of mostly text and many links, lack of material to improve self-management and too general information. Survey data revealed that 87 % found the language in the articles easy to understand and 73 % could recognize themselves and their challenges in the articles. A proportion of the respondents reported improved understanding of their pain condition (56 %), improved coping (33 %), and that they had made changes in their everyday life after reading on the website (33 %).

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with high-impact chronic pain found Smerteinfo valuable. The results suggest attention towards spreading knowledge of the website to general practitioners, who could introduce the site at an earlier stage of illness. Continuously improving the site and expand the applicable tools based on scientific evidence and in collaboration with end-users are crucial to ensure the usability of the website in the future.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Pain
Volume23
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)646-655
ISSN1877-8860
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26. Oct 2023

Keywords

  • Smerteinfo
  • chronic pain
  • pain science education
  • self-management
  • Chronic Pain/therapy
  • Humans

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