University of Oulu

Saba Kheirinejad, Aku Visuri, Sharadhi Alape Suryanarayana, Simo Hosio, Exploring mHealth applications for self-management of chronic low back pain: A survey of features and benefits, Heliyon, Volume 9, Issue 6, 2023, e16586, ISSN 2405-8440,

Exploring mHealth applications for self-management of chronic low back pain : a survey of features and benefits

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Author: Kheirinejad, Saba1; Visuri, Aku1; Suryanarayana, Sharadhi Alape1;
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-08-23


The adoption of Mobile Health (mHealth) for self-management is growing. mHealth solutions are commonly used in public healthcare and health services, where they are appreciated for their ease of use, broad reach, and wide acceptance. Chronic Low Back Pain (CLBP) is one of the most common health problems and a leading cause of disability. As such, it imposes a tremendous burden on patients and society. Studies have proposed that mHealth self-management solutions, such as mobile applications, can supplement traditional care methods and benefit patients, particularly in self-managing CLBP easier. To this end, the number of available mobile applications for CLBP has increased. This paper i) provides an overview of scientific studies on mobile applications for CLBP management from three different viewpoints: researchers, health professionals, and patients, ii) uncovers the application features that were seen as beneficial in the studies, and iii) contrasts the currently available applications for CLBP in Google Play Store and Apple App Store against the discovered features. The findings show that “Personalization and customization” is the most significant feature as it is beneficial from stakeholders’ viewpoint and is represented by most applications. In contrast, “Gamification” and “Artificial intelligence” are the least significant features, indicating a lack of attention from application creators and researchers in this area.

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Series: Heliyon
ISSN: 2405-8440
ISSN-E: 2405-8440
ISSN-L: 2405-8440
Volume: 9
Issue: 6
Article number: e16586
DOI: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e16586
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
Funding: This research is connected to the GenZ strategic profiling project at the University of Oulu, supported by the Academy of Finland (project number 318930), Biocenter Oulu, the Strategic Research Council (SRC), established within the Academy of Finland (Grants 335625, 335729), and Academy Research Fellow funding by Academy of Finland (Grants 349637 and 353790).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 335729
Detailed Information: 335729 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
349637 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
353790 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (