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Clin Trials. 2017 Dec;14(6):563-571. doi: 10.1177/1740774517723307. Epub 2017 Jul 26.

Successful utilization of an electronic pain diary in a multinational phase 3 interventional study of pediatric sickle cell anemia.

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1 Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, IN, USA.
2 Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, Boston, MA, USA.
3 UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, Oakland, CA, USA.
4 School of Medical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.
5 Malaria Research Centre, Agogo Presbyterian Hospital, Agogo, Ghana.
6 Department of Medical Oncology & Hematology, Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig, Egypt.
7 Department of Pediatrics, University of Milano-Bicocca, Monza, Italy.
8 Emory University School of Medicine and AFLAC Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Atlanta, GA, USA.



Patients with sickle cell anemia can experience recurrent pain episodes, which affect quality of life. The reported prevalence of pain is higher in studies using patient diaries than in healthcare facility utilization data. Determining Effects of Platelet Inhibition on Vaso-Occlusive Events was a multinational study that assessed the efficacy and safety of prasugrel in reducing the rate of vaso-occlusive events in children with sickle cell anemia (NCT01794000) and included an electronic patient-reported outcome diary to record pain occurrence. We aimed to capture diary completion rates and compliance in children who used the electronic patient-reported outcome diary during the Determining Effects of Platelet Inhibition on Vaso-Occlusive Events study and examine factors contributing to diary completion rates and compliance.


Daily electronic patient-reported outcome diary data were collected for up to 9 months in Determining Effects of Platelet Inhibition on Vaso-Occlusive Events participants aged 4 to <18 years in Africa, the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East. The questionnaires were available in 11 languages/dialects for collecting subjective (pain intensity, activity interference) and objective (study drug use, analgesic use, school attendance) data. Pain intensity was measured using the Faces Pain Scale-Revised. Data were entered by participants or caregivers and transferred wirelessly each day to a central database. Diary completion rates were the number of daily diary entries divided by the total number of expected daily diary entries. Percentages of participants who were compliant with the diary (≥80% diary completion) were calculated.


A total of 311 participants received a diary; 268 provided diary data through Month 9. Diary completion rates and compliance were high throughout the collection period and across all groups and regions, despite no games being included on the device. For subjective data, the overall completion rate was 94.4%, and 92.6% of participants were compliant. For objective data, the overall completion rate was 93.3%, and 89.7% of participants were compliant. Completion rates and compliance differed significantly by age and region and were higher for 4 to <12 year olds and very much higher for participants from Africa and the Middle East. Caregivers almost always entered data for participants <6 years and rarely entered data for participants ≥12 years. Comparing participant-entered and caregiver-entered data, pain intensity score data were more consistent for 4 to <12 year olds than older children, but pain intensity scores for older children were higher when entered by caregivers.


With appropriate design, participant training, and sufficient monitoring, an electronic patient-reported outcome diary can capture daily sickle cell-related pain data in large multinational studies. Providing a mechanism for caregiver reporting is particularly valuable for participants <6 years and may also facilitate compliance in older children who experience high levels of pain.


Sickle cell anemia; clinical trials as topic; electronic diary; hematology; pain measurement; patient compliance; patient outcome assessment

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