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Feasibility of a Smartphone-Based Exercise Program for Office Workers With Neck Pain: An Individualized Approach Using a Self-Classification Algorithm

Published:September 27, 2016DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2016.09.002

      Abstract

      Objective

      To explore the feasibility of a newly developed smartphone-based exercise program with an embedded self-classification algorithm for office workers with neck pain, by examining its effect on the pain intensity, functional disability, quality of life, fear avoidance, and cervical range of motion (ROM).

      Design

      Single-group, repeated-measures design.

      Setting

      The laboratory and participants' home and work environments.

      Participants

      Offices workers with neck pain (N=23; mean age ± SD, 28.13±2.97y; 13 men).

      Intervention

      Participants were classified as having 1 of 4 types of neck pain through a self-classification algorithm implemented as a smartphone application, and conducted corresponding exercise programs for 10 to 12min/d, 3d/wk, for 8 weeks.

      Main Outcome Measures

      The visual analog scale (VAS), Neck Disability Index (NDI), Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), Fear-Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire (FABQ), and cervical ROM were measured at baseline and postintervention.

      Results

      The VAS (P<.001) and NDI score (P<.001) indicated significant improvements in pain intensity and functional disability. Quality of life showed significant improvements in the physical functioning (P=.007), bodily pain (P=.018), general health (P=.022), vitality (P=.046), and physical component scores (P=.002) of the SF-36. The FABQ, cervical ROM, and mental component score of the SF-36 showed no significant improvements.

      Conclusions

      The smartphone-based exercise program with an embedded self-classification algorithm improves the pain intensity and perceived physical health of office workers with neck pain, although not enough to affect their mental and emotional states.

      Keywords

      List of abbreviations:

      app (application), FABQ (Fear-Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire), NDI (Neck Disability Index), ROM (range of motion), SF-36 (Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey), VAS (visual analog scale)
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