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Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2016 Dec;30(6):1098-1109. doi: 10.1016/j.berh.2017.04.002. Epub 2017 May 25.

Smartphone apps for the self-management of low back pain: A systematic review.

Author information

1
School of Public Health, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia. Electronic address: gustavo.machado@sydney.edu.au.
2
Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
3
Neuroscience Research Australia, School of Medical Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia; Hunter Medical Research Institute, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia; Centre for Pain, Health and Lifestyle, Australia.
4
Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, England, UK; The FA Centre for Disability Football Research, The Football Association, Burton upon Trent, England, UK.
5
Division of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, England, UK.
6
Hunter Medical Research Institute, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia; Hunter New England Population Health, Hunter New England Local Health District, Newcastle, Australia; Centre for Pain, Health and Lifestyle, Australia.
7
School of Public Health, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia; Centre for Pain, Health and Lifestyle, Australia.

Abstract

Guidelines for low back pain (LBP) often recommend the use of self-management such as unsupervised exercise, booklets, and online education. Another potentially useful way for patients to self-manage LBP is by using smartphone applications (apps). However, to date, there has been no rigorous evaluation of LBP apps and no guidance for consumers on how to select high-quality, evidence-based apps. This chapter reviews smartphone apps for the self-management of LBP and evaluates their content quality and whether they recommend evidence-based interventions. This chapter shows that generally app developers are selecting interventions that are endorsed by guidelines, although their quality is low. There are many apps available for the self-management of LBP, but their effectiveness in improving patient outcomes has not been rigorously assessed. App developers need to work closely with healthcare professionals, researchers, and patients to ensure app content is accurate, evidence based, and engaging.

KEYWORDS:

Low back pain; Mobile app; Systematic review; eHealth; mHealth

PMID:
29103552
DOI:
10.1016/j.berh.2017.04.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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