Fibromyalgia: Implementation of Health Information Technology in Routine Care

Monday, 9 November 2015: 3:35 PM

Toni Sparks, DNP, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC
Office of Toni Sparks FNP PLLC, Boise, ID, USA
Jennifer Kawi, PhD, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC
School of Nursing, Physiological Department, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV, USA
Nancy N. Menzel, PhD, RN, PHCNS-BC, CPH, CNE
Department of Psychosocial Nursing, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV, USA
Kendall Hartley, PhD
University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV, USA

Background: Fibromyalgia is a global condition and its management remains complicated and challenging. Implementation of health information technology is an evidence-based non-pharmacological self and symptom management strategy that has application in fibromyalgia (Vanderboom, Vincent, Luedtke, Rhudy, & Bowles, 2014). However, there is a paucity of studies evaluating the feasibility of such technology in assisting toward the management of fibromyalgia patients in clinical practice. FibroGuide© is an example of an evidence-based, interactive, and computer-based program comprised of 10 educational modules on fibromyalgia (Williams et a., 2010).

Purpose: A process was developed for implementing FibroGuide© into the routine care of patients with fibromyalgia. The overall impact of this health information technology was evaluated before and after a 12-week implementation. Patient perspectives on using FibroGuide© to assist in self-management were also assessed.

Methods: In this pilot study, 35 participants with fibromyalgia were recruited from an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse’s outpatient clinic. Using a descriptive design, quantitative and qualitative analyses were employed to address study aims.

Findings: Based on data collection pre- and post-intervention using paired samples testing, a statistically significant change (p = .017) was observed in overall fibromyalgia impact (improved symptom severity, activity, and function). Majority of the participants felt that FibroGuide©was helpful as part of their routine care, and nearly half reported that it assisted in their self-management. Although 65% noted that technology was an effective and efficient way to receive education for fibromyalgia management, 57% preferred talking to their healthcare providers.

Conclusions/Implications: Health information technology like FibroGuide© has a global implication as a promising adjunct to clinical management of fibromyalgia. However, larger longitudinal studies are essential evaluating both statistical and clinical significance, while decreasing barriers to participant use of health information technology to facilitate engagement and sustain self and symptom management. Providers need to be well educated on supporting self-management strategies and health information technology toward potentially improving healthcare outcomes.