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Determining the impact of postoperative complications in neurosurgery based on simulated longitudinal smartphone app-based assessment

Lion D Comfort, Marian C Neidert, Oliver Bozinov, Luca Regli & Martin N. Stienen

abstract

BACKGROUND
Complications after neurosurgical operations can have severe impact on patient well-being, which is poorly reflected by current grading systems. The objective of this work was to develop and conduct a feasibility study of a new smartphone application that allows for the longitudinal assessment of postoperative well-being and complications.

METHODS
We developed a smartphone application "Post OP Tracker" according to requirements from clinical experience and tested it on simulated patients. Participants received regular notifications through the app, inquiring them about their well-being and complications that had to be answered according to their assigned scenarios. After a 12-week period, subjects answered a questionnaire about the app's functionality, user-friendliness, and acceptability.

RESULTS
A total of 13 participants (mean age 34.8, range 24-68 years, 4 (30.8%) female) volunteered in this feasibility study. Most of them had a professional background in either health care or software development. All participants downloaded, installed, and applied the app for an average of 12.9 weeks. On a scale of 1 (worst) to 4 (best), the app was rated on average 3.6 in overall satisfaction and 3.8 in acceptance. The design achieved a somewhat favorable score of 3.1. One participant (7.7%) reported major technical issues. The gathered patient data can be used to graphically display the simulated outcome and assess the impact of postoperative complications.

CONCLUSIONS
This study suggests the feasibility to longitudinally gather postoperative data on subjective well-being through a smartphone application. Among potential patients, our application indicated to be functional, user-friendly, and well accepted. Using this app-based approach, further studies will enable us to classify postoperative complications according to their impact on the patient's well-being.
   
citation Comfort L D, Neidert M C, Bozinov O, Regli L, Stienen M N. Determining the impact of postoperative complications in neurosurgery based on simulated longitudinal smartphone app-based assessment. Acta Neurochir (Wien) 2021;.
   
type journal paper/review (English)
date of publishing 21-08-2021
journal title Acta Neurochir (Wien)
ISSN electronic 0942-0940
PubMed 34420108
DOI 10.1007/s00701-021-04967-0