Digital devices help people manage chronic pain and fatigue
Powys Teaching Health Board received training and support from Digital Communities Wales so that patients suffering from chronic pain and fatigue could get the full benefit of health and wellbeing support online.
The Powys Teaching Health Board Pain and Fatigue Management Centre, based in Bronllys Hospital, offers support to people across Powys with long term health conditions.
The centre runs a two-week residential programme for patients experiencing chronic pain and / or chronic fatigue. The aim of the programme is to help people to manage their health condition independently at home and bring about behaviour change, so people have a better quality of life.
Staff from the Pain and Fatigue Management Centre attended training from DCW on Health & Wellbeing Apps and Websites so they could incorporate digital elements into the two-week pain management programme..
In addition, ten iPads were loaned to the team to use during the residential programme, so patients could learn how to different apps and websites can help them manage their health conditions independently at home and how to find good quality health and wellbeing information online.
Although many people attending the residential pain management programme already had good IT skills, they weren’t necessarily aware of all the resources online to help them. They were introduced to apps such as Breathe, Headspace and Calm, and also shown how to use tools such as popplet to monitor their pain levels.
A digital literacy session for participants helped them find and evaluate health information online, so they could critically assess the reliability and safety of advice from different websites.
Clare Clark, Advanced Practitioner – Occupational Therapist with the Pain and Fatigue Management Service, said, “Having the iPads to use in the sessions enabled a mixed media approach which engaged individuals and ensured interaction within the session.”
Matthew Bevan, Digital Inclusion Advisor for DCW commented: “It is great to hear how the iPads have been used during the two-week residential programme. Technology has such a big part to play in helping people access quality health information and to improve wellbeing, so it is fantastic that the iPad loan has allowed people to learn more about this and hopefully give them the skills to be able to manage their health conditions independently.”