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Open Access Research article

Written online situational feedback via mobile phone to support self-management of chronic widespread pain: a usability study of a Web-based intervention

Ólöf Birna Kristjánsdóttir1*, Egil A Fors23, Erlend Eide14, Arnstein Finset5, Sandra van Dulmen6, Sigrid Hørven Wigers7 and Hilde Eide18

Author Affiliations

1 Faculty of Nursing, Oslo University College, Oslo, Norway

2 Division of Psychiatry, St. Olavs Hospital, Trondheim, Norway

3 Department of Public Health and General Practice, Faculty of Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway

4 Stream Networks, Tønsberg, Norway

5 Department of Behavioral Sciences in Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway

6 NIVEL (Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research), Utrecht, The Netherlands

7 Jeloy Kurbad Rehabilitation Centre, Moss, Norway

8 Faculty of Health Science, Buskerud University College, Drammen, Norway

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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2011, 12:51  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-12-51

Published: 25 February 2011



This pretrial study aimed to develop and test the usability of a four-week Internet intervention delivered by a Web-enabled mobile phone to support self-management of chronic widespread pain.


The intervention included daily online entries and individualized written feedback, grounded in a mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral approach. The participants registered activities, emotions and pain cognitions three times daily using the mobile device. The therapist had immediate access to this information through a secure Web site. The situational information was used to formulate and send a personalized text message to the participant with the aim of stimulating effective self-management of the current situation. Six women participated and evaluated the experience.


The intervention was rated as supportive, meaningful and user-friendly by the majority of the women. The response rate to the daily registration entries was high and technical problems were few.


The results indicate a feasible intervention. Web-applications are fast becoming standard features of mobile phones and interventions of this kind can therefore be more available than before.

Trial registration number NCT01236209