BACKGROUND: Rapid growth in smartphone use has expanded opportunities to use mobile health (mHealth) technology to collect real-time patient-reported and objective biometric data. These data may have important implication for personalized treatments of degenerative spine disease. However, no large-scale study has examined the feasibility and acceptability of these methods in spine surgery patients. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of a multimodal preoperative mHealth assessment in patients with degenerative spine disease. METHODS: Adults undergoing elective spine surgery were provided with Fitbit trackers and sent preoperative ecological momentary assessments (EMAs) assessing pain, disability, mood, and catastrophizing 5 times daily for 3 weeks. Objective adherence rates and a subjective acceptability survey were used to evaluate feasibility of these methods. RESULTS: The 77 included participants completed an average of 82 EMAs each, with an average completion rate of 86%. Younger age and chronic pulmonary disease were significantly associated with lower EMA adherence. Seventy-two (93%) participants completed Fitbit monitoring and wore the Fitbits for an average of 247 hours each. On average, participants wore the Fitbits for at least 12 hours per day for 15 days. Only worse mood scores were independently associated with lower Fitbit adherence. Most participants endorsed positive experiences with the study protocol, including 91% who said they would be willing to complete EMAs to improve their preoperative surgical guidance. CONCLUSION: Spine fusion candidates successfully completed a preoperative multimodal mHealth assessment with high acceptability. The intensive longitudinal data collected may provide new insights that improve patient selection and treatment guidance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)538-546
Number of pages9
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2023


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