BACKGROUND: Questionnaires are necessary tools for assessing symptoms of disorders of the brain-gut interaction in clinical trials. We previously reported on the excellent adherence to a smartphone app used as symptom diary in a randomized clinical trial on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Other sampling methods, such as the experience sampling method (ESM), are better equipped to measure symptom variability over time and provide useful information regarding possible symptom triggers, and they are free of ecological and recall bias. The high frequency of measurements, however, could limit the feasibility of ESM in clinical trials.
OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to compare the adherence rates of a smartphone-based end-of-day diary and ESM for symptom assessment in IBS and functional dyspepsia (FD).
METHODS: Data from 4 separate studies were included. Patients with IBS participated in a randomized controlled trial, which involved a smartphone end-of-day diary for a 2+8-week (pretreatment + treatment) period, and an observational study in which patients completed ESM assessments using a smartphone app for 1 week. Patients with FD participated in a randomized controlled trial, which involved a smartphone end-of-day diary for a 2+12-week (pretreatment + treatment) period, and an observational study in which patients completed ESM assessments using a smartphone app for 1 week. Adherence rates were compared between these 2 symptom sampling methods.
RESULTS: In total, 25 patients with IBS and 15 patients with FD were included. Overall adherence rates for the end-of-day diaries were significantly higher than those for ESM (IBS: 92.7% vs 69.8%, FD: 90.1% vs 61.4%, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates excellent adherence rates for smartphone app-based end-of-day diaries as used in 2 separate clinical trials. Overall adherence rates for ESM were significantly lower, rendering it more suitable for intermittent sampling periods rather than continuous sampling during longer clinical trials.
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||JMIR Formative Research|
|Publication status||Published - 24 Nov 2021|