Synthesis of evidence on the use of ecological momentary assessments to monitor health outcomes after traumatic injury: rapid systematic review

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Abstract

Background: With the increasing use of mobile technology, ecological momentary assessments (EMAs) may enable routine monitoring of patient health outcomes and patient experiences of care by health agencies. This rapid review aims to synthesise the evidence on the use of EMAs to monitor health outcomes after traumatic unintentional injury. Method: A rapid systematic review of nine databases (MEDLINE, Web of Science, Embase, CINAHL, Academic Search Premier, PsychINFO, Psychology and Behavioural Sciences Collection, Scopus, SportDiscus) for English-language articles from January 2010–September 2021 was conducted. Abstracts and full-text were screened by two reviewers and each article critically appraised. Key information was extracted by population characteristics, age and sample size, follow-up time period(s), type of EMA tools, physical health or pain outcome(s), psychological health outcome(s), general health or social outcome(s), and facilitators or barriers of EMA methods. Narrative synthesis was undertaken to identify key EMA facilitator and barrier themes. Results: There were 29 articles using data from 25 unique studies. Almost all (84.0%) were prospective cohort studies and 11 (44.0%) were EMA feasibility trials with an injured cohort. Traumatic and acquired brain injuries and concussion (64.0%) were the most common injuries examined. The most common EMA type was interval (40.0%). There were 10 key facilitator themes (e.g. feasibility, ecological validity, compliance) and 10 key barrier themes (e.g. complex technology, response consistency, ability to capture a participant’s full experience, compliance decline) identified in studies using EMA to examine health outcomes post-injury. Conclusions: This review highlighted the usefulness of EMA to capture ecologically valid participant responses of their experiences post-injury. EMAs have the potential to assist in routine follow-up of the health outcomes of patients post-injury and their use should be further explored.

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Mitchell, R. J., Goggins, R., & Lystad, R. P. (2022). Synthesis of evidence on the use of ecological momentary assessments to monitor health outcomes after traumatic injury: rapid systematic review. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 22(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12874-022-01586-w

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