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Rheumatology (Oxford). 2013 Nov;52(11):2062-70. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/ket276. Epub 2013 Aug 16.

Usability of an innovative and interactive electronic system for collection of patient-reported data in axial spondyloarthritis: comparison with the traditional paper-administered format.

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Department of Rheumatology, Polytechnic University of the Marche, Ospedale C. Urbani, Via dei Colli 52, 60035 Jesi, Ancona, Italy.



To evaluate the validity, in terms of the patients' acceptance, preference, feasibility and reliability of an innovative, interactive computerized system for collection of patient-reported outcome (PRO) data on axial SpA against the paper-and-pencil version.


Fifty-five patients with axial SpA completed both the touch screen and the paper-and-pencil set of questionnaires. A computerized touch-screen system, SPEAMonitor, was developed to capture PRO data. Variables recorded included demographic data, patient's assessment of general health status, BASDAI, BASFI, BASMI and acute-phase reactant levels. In order to assess the patient's acceptance of, preference for and feasibility of computer-based questionnaires, the participants filled in an additional questionnaire. The time taken to complete both formats was measured. In a further test-retest study, 25 patients were re-evaluated.


The agreement between the paper-administered and computer touch-screen format of the BASFI, BASDAI questionnaires and the Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Scores was excellent. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) between data ranged from 0.90 to 0.96. Additionally the test-retest study showed a very good agreement between the scores for the two administrations (ICC ≥ 0.90). Age, computer experience and education level had no significant impact on the results. The computerized questionnaires were reported to be easier to use. The mean time spent completing the questionnaires on a touch screen was 5.1 min and on paper 7.9 min.


Our newly developed computer-assisted touch-screen questionnaires for PRO in axial SpA were well accepted by patients, with good data quality, reliability and score agreement.


SPEAMonitor; axial spondyloarthritis; electronic data capture; patient-reported outcomes; self-administered questionnaires; touch screen

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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