Griffith launches apps for chronic fatigue and headache research

Griffith University has launched a new app to help patients with chronic fatigue syndrome better manage their illness, along with a headache app designed to be used in a research study to record daily ratings of head pain.

The chronic fatigue app, called CliniHelp, is also suitable for patients with multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis and allows them to record symptoms, track them on a weekly basis and monitor changes in their condition.

Griffith, which has officially opened a specialist chronic fatigue clinic based at its National Centre for Neuroimmunology and Emerging Diseases (NCNED) on the Gold Coast that will receive patients in October, will also use the app for research purposes, with anonymised data entered by patients sent to its researchers.

Users' records can be stored on their mobile phones as PDFs and shared with their healthcare practitioners.

NCNED head Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik said a major advantage of CliniHelp was that it will allow physicians to be more informed of their patients’ symptoms, as cognition can be a major impediment for patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.

An iOS version of the app is available now, with an Android version due in August.

Griffith has also launched an app that can be used by participants in research projects such as its ENHANCE project, which is studying the effectiveness of managing headaches using a combination of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and a new approach called learning to cope with triggers (LCT).

The Griffith research team, led by Paul Martin of the Behavioural Basis of Health program, aims to help headache sufferers to become desensitised to triggers such as food, noise and stress or to build up a tolerance to them.

In partnership with Wexpert Technologies, Professor Martin's team has developed an electronic headache diary that can be used by participants in the study in order to record daily ratings of head pain.

“Information recorded via the app can be directly downloaded into data files, saving time and eliminating transcription errors,” Professor Martin said in a statement. “The technology will enable the team to know when the ratings of head pain are made, rather than relying on the self reports of the participants.

“This app will benefit the ENHANCE project but will also be a very useful tool for other headache researchers around the world.”

Posted in Allied Health

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