ICPCN Pain Assessment App helps Huyaam manage her chronic pain

Categories: Care and People & Places.

Huyaam Samuels talks about using the ICPCN Pain Assessment Tool to keep track of and report to her doctor and physiotherapist on her pain levels over time.  

Huyaam Samuels is a student at Cape Town University with a rare condition called Pseudoachondroplasia and Hypermobility Syndrome, all of which causes her chronic pain.  Huyaam is a well-known national and global ambassador for palliative care and wrote a blog post for ICPCN a few years ago in which she describes how the care she receives from a palliative care team has helped improve her quality of life and control her pain.

In a video made earlier this year, Huyaam explains the benefits of using the ICPCN Pain Assessment Tool saying, “It had become quite difficult for me to relay my pain estimates over to my doctor and my physiotherapist, but since I’ve been using the ICPCN’s Pain Assessment Tool, I’ve been taking down my pain scales in a quick easy manner without any hassles.”

She goes on to say the following:

“The app is really user friendly.  You are able to pick the sensation you are feeling, whether it is a dull ache, a throbbing ache, or a burning sensation. And what makes this app really brilliant, if none of the pre-programmed  responses suits you, you are able to use a little description box where you can write how you are feeling. Also there is another section where you can write your medications and what you have done for the pain.”

“You can use it quick and easy on the go its an app so its on your phone and it’s something you always have on you. The app has become my best friend when I go to my doctor and physiotherapist appointments.”

“I definitely recommend this application for anyone suffering from chronic pain. or any doctors who would like to use this app first and get a feel of how it is and then recommend it recommend it to your patients.”

Good pain assessment

Good pain assessment is considered to be the foundation of effective pain management and control for patients of all ages, condition or setting. Research undertaken by the ICPCN indicates that there is an under assessment of pain in children.

Screens from the app

The  ICPCN’s Pain Assessment Tool for Children is an interactive App that can be downloaded on both Android and iPhone devices to assist children and parents keep track of their pain levels over a period of time. It is particularly useful for children who have palliative care needs because pain is most often one of the symptoms of life-limiting illnesses, but can be used by anyone of any age who wishes to keep a recorded history of their chronic pain levels. With the ICPCN Pain Assessment Tool, three different pain scales are immediately available on your phone. The app can also be used by practitioners who need easy and immediate access to a pain scale for once off measurement of a child’s pain.

The scale combines the option of a faces, numeric pain scale to use with children from between 3 and 4 years of age upward and records the child’s responses to allow monitoring of the type and level of pain the child is experiencing.

The app has the following features capabilities:

  1. The app is universally relevant to children of all races and cultures.
  2. It provides an intuitive, child friendly and interactive pain scale.
  3. The App tracks and measures the child’s pain type and levels over an extended period of time.
Easy access to a pain scale

While there are several scales available for measuring pain, including charts that use faces to indicate the level of pain and numerical measurement scales, those who care for children may not always have easy access to these charts. However, it is likely they will be carrying a smartphone on them.

The app is intended for use by parents, children and carers to keep a history of pain intensity, type and location over time. In order to access this function, the user needs to log in with a password. However, the scale also has a function to allow health care providers to use the scale without logging in. This may be particularly useful for emergency medical personnel who need quick and easy access to a pain scale.

Once a user is logged in, the ICPCN Pain Assessment Tool will keep a recorded history of the child’s responses over any period of time.

Find out more and how you can access the app on the ICPCN website.