Can mobile technology offer new ways to improve recovery from serious traumatic injuries?

PHILADELPHIA (September 29, 2020) – Serious traumatic injuries are a health event that can begin a trajectory toward chronic health and social challenges. Research on patient outcomes after traumatic injuries establishes the ubiquitous nature of the long-term consequences of injuries in physical, psychological, social, and economic well-being, which can last for months or even years after hospitalization of the injury. In light of this research, emerging interventions focus on improved and coordinated health services to support recovery and address long-term rehabilitation needs of patients.

In a number of other health conditions, prevention and treatment interventions based on mobile technology have been successfully used to monitor and transform health outcomes. But so far, their potential to address interrelated physical, psychological, and social challenges in long-term recovery from injury has not been explored.

A new study, recently published in mHealth, by the University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing (Penn Nursing), is the first of its kind to examine how mobile healthcare applications and textual detection of patient-reported outcomes can better understand enduring challenges to recovery after severe injuries and hospitalizations. This study found that mobile health monitoring was feasible and acceptable, including selected biometric indicators of physical activity and sleep, in a sample of blacks recovering from severe trauma in Philadelphia, PA, who described past and current barriers to their access to health and social care . resources.

“This study adds evidence to support efforts to more systematically and comprehensively understand the consequences of physical trauma as an often long-term and chronic health condition,” writes article leader Sara F. Jacoby, MPH, Ph.D. MSN, Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Health. “This pilot study is the first step in identifying useful and feasible real-time monitoring specifications for long-term physical, psychological, and social outcomes in traumas using mobile technology.”


Co-authors of the article include Therese S. Richmond, Andrew Robinson, Jessica L. Webster, of Penn Nursing; and Christopher N. Morrison of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. The article “Feasibility and acceptability of mobile health monitoring to assess the outcome of a traumatic injury in real time” is available online. The research was supported by the Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation and the University of Pennsylvania Research Foundation.

About the University of Pennsylvania Nursing School

The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing is one of the world’s leading nursing schools. For the fifth year in a row, QS University ranks first in the world for nursing and in the world annual list of the best graduate schools. Penn Nursing is currently for the third year in a row in first place in funding for the National Institutes of Health, among other nursing schools. Penn Nursing prepares nurse scientists and nurse leaders to meet the health needs of global society through innovation in research, education, and practice. Follow Penn Nursing on: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

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