Smartphone applications designed to improve older people’s chronic pain management: an integrated systematic review

Margaret Dunham*, Antonio Bonacaro, Patricia Schofield, Liz Bacon, Fotios Spyridonis, Hadi Mehrpouya

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
75 Downloads (Pure)


(1) Background: Older people’s chronic pain is often not well managed because of fears of side-effects and under-reporting. Telehealth interventions, in the form of smartphone applications, are attracting much interest in the management of chronic diseases, with new and evolving approaches in response to current population demographics. However, the extent to which telehealth interventions may be used to promote and effect the self-management of chronic pain is not established. (2) Aim: To provide an objective review of the existing quantitative and qualitative evidence pertaining to the benefits of smartphone applications for the management of chronic pain in older people. (3) Methods: A literature search was undertaken using PubMed, Medline, CINAHL, Embase, PsychINFO, the Cochrane database, Science Direct and references of retrieved articles. The data were independently extracted by two reviewers from the original reports. (4) Results: This integrative systematic review identified 10 articles considering smartphone applications related to self-management of chronic pain among older adults. (5) Conclusions: It is important for future research to not only examine the effects of smartphone initiatives, but also to compare their safety, acceptability, efficacy and cost–benefit ratio in relation to existing treatment modalities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number40
Number of pages15
JournalGeriatrics (Switzerland)
Issue number2
Early online date8 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2021


  • Telehealth
  • Chronic pain
  • mHealth
  • Smartphone apps
  • Chatbot


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