Wearable electronic devices for chronic pain intensity assessment: A systematic review

Francisco R. Avila, Christopher J. McLeod, Maria T. Huayllani, Daniel Boczar, Davide Giardi, Charles J. Bruce, Rickey E. Carter, Antonio J. Forte

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Wearable electronic devices are a convenient solution to pain intensity assessment as they can provide continuous monitoring for more precise medication adjustments. However, there is little evidence regarding the use of wearable electronic devices for chronic pain intensity assessment. Our primary objective was to examine the physiologic parameters used by wearable electronic devices for chronic pain intensity assessment. We initially inquired PubMed, CINAHL, and Embase for studies evaluating the use of wearable electronic devices for chronic pain intensity assessment. We updated our inquiry by searching on PubMed, Embase, Scopus, and Google Scholar. English peer-reviewed studies were included, with no exclusions based on time frame or publication status. Of 348 articles that were identified on the first inquiry, 8 fulfilled the eligibility criteria. Of 179 articles that were identified on the last inquiry, only 1 fulfilled the eligibility criteria. We found articles evaluating wristbands, smartwatches, and belts. Parameters evaluated were psychomotor and sleep patterns, space and time mobility, heart rate variability, and skeletal muscle electrical activity. Most of the studies found significant positive associations between physiological parameters measured by wearable electronic devices and self-reporting pain scales. Wearable electronic devices reliably reflect physiologic or biometric parameters, providing a physiological correlation for pain. Early stage investigation suggests that the degree of pain intensity can be discerned, which ideally will reduce the bias inherent to existing numeric/verbal scales. Further research on the use of these devices is vital.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPain Practice
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Chronic pain
  • pain intensity assessment
  • sensor technology
  • wearable electronic devices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Wearable electronic devices for chronic pain intensity assessment: A systematic review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this