Journal of Rheumatology, The Journal of Rheumatology, 8(49), p. 878-884, 2022
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ObjectiveTo investigate the performance of a health app with respect to usability, adherence, and equivalence of data in daily care of patients with axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA).MethodsConsecutive patients with axSpA were asked to export patient-reported outcomes (PRO) electronically with the AxSpA Live App regularly every 2 weeks over a period of 6 months. The first clinical visit was followed by 2 further personal visits after 3 and 6 months. Patients completed paper-based PRO at every visit; they also completed the Mobile App Rating Scale and the System Usability Scale after 3 and 6 months.ResultsOf 103 patients with axSpA, 69 agreed to participate (67.0%): age 41.5 (11.3) years, 58.0% male, Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI) 4.3 (2.0), and 76.8% treated with biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs. Patients’ adherence to regular app exports was 29.0% and 28.4% after 3 and 6 months, respectively. Significant predictors for good adherence were high disease activity (P = 0.02) and older age (P = 0.04). No systematic differences between digital and paper-based BASDAI scores were found (intraclass correlation coefficients 0.99 [95% CI 0.98-0.99]). Performance of the app was rated as good.ConclusionCollection of digital PROs by AxSpA Live App may be successfully used in patients with axSpA with high disease activity. Our study showed equivalence of digital data, but adherence to the app after 6 months was poor. Higher disease activity and older age resulted in increased adherence to the app. This suggests that the use of health apps like this should concentrate on more severely affected patients.