Intro to Chronic Pain Tracker
Welcome to Chronic Pain Tracker. Please take a few moments to review this information as it will explain the main concepts and workflow behind this app. You will find that the app is adaptable to many different scenarios and we want you to find the most efficient setup and workflow for you.
What can CPT do for you?
Whether you are dealing with pain related to a short term injury and rehabilitation or related to a chronic condition, CPT can help you better manage your condition. We do this by providing tools to accomplish 3 critical activities:
- With 18 unique Tracker tools, CPT can capture the details of your chronic pain and associated metrics.
- CPT can can streamline the data entry process so that more of your time is spent on getting better
- CPT includes powerful data analysis tools to convert your raw diary data into charts and graphs – more than 60 at this time.
- You’ll be able to see what is impacting your pain levels so that you can better formulate your care strategy
- CPT can consolidate this analysis into very concise, but information dense, reports that can be printed or e-mailed right from within the application.
- Show your doctor you are serious about your condition and focus the conversation on the subjects that matter to you.
The CPT Data Model
It will help to have a general understanding of the data model that underlies the Chronic Pain Tracker workflow. Our goal was to build an expandable platform that delivers a great workflow right now, but also has the ability to expand in capabilities and features without dramatically changing that workflow down the road. That’s why we use a very modular concept when it comes to Diary Entries, Trackers, etc. Let’s have a look…
The top level of the data hierarchy is the Diary level. Within CPT you can create and maintain one or more Diary objects. Each Diary will contain it’s own collection of Diary Entries. Similarly, any reports that you run within the app only aggregate data from the current Diary.
This allows you to do things like track pain for multiple people within the same application (eg. yourself and your spouse). Or, you can create separate diaries for different injuries or conditions. For example, you might have chronic back pain which you track in Diary A, but you also broke an ankle and want to track the recovery of that injury separately in Diary B.
Diary Entry Level
Most of your interactions will be at the Diary Entry level. Within each Diary object, you can create an unlimited number of Diary Entry objects. Each Diary Entry represents a pain “snapshot” at a given point in time. How often you create a diary entry is entirely up to you, but you should consider the nature of your condition. If your pain level is fairly constant and unchanging throughout the day, then one or two entries per day may be sufficient. However, if your pain changes througout the day, you’ll benefit from taking more of these pain “snapshots” throughout the day.
Each Diary Entry will contain one or more Tracker objects that capture the specific details of your health situation. The exact combination of how many and which Trackers is entirely up to you, and brings us to the next level in the data model.
CPT currently includes 18 unique Tracker objects for capturing all the metrics of your pain plus other symptoms, treatments, activity levels, environmental factors, etc. In most cases, you’ll only need a subset of these Trackers per Diary Entry. Again, our modular approach means that you can pick and choose which Tracker items to include and complete for each entry.
This selection process can be done manually each time you create a Diary Entry, OR you can define a Tracker Collection which represents a subset of the Tracker items. Using the Tracker Collection, you can add as many Trackers as needed with a single tap. You can even define a particular Tracker Collection as the default model for a Diary Entry. Once defined, each new Diary Entry will automatically be created with that combination of Tracker objects. Again, the choice is up to you and your particular needs.
Another key feature is the ability to customize the Tracker objects. For example, you can define your own list of pain descriptions, or select a particular body model to use when describing your pain location. You can also define the behaviour of the Tracker items when they are added to a new Diary Entry. Specifically, you can indicate whether or not a Tracker should copy your last entry or start fresh each time. Copying the last entry can really speed up data entry if you have a condition where your symptoms are fairly consistent from entry to entry.
CPT Reporting Options
CPT includes two main types of reports: Diary History and Summary Reports. Which you choose is really going to depend on how you want to review your data with your healthcare provider. Both reports can be exported to PDF or HTML formats. In addition, the graphs from the Summary Report can be reviewed interactively within the app itself.
Diary History Report
The Diary History report is a chronological output of your Diary Entries for a given period of time. For each Diary Entry in the period, you will have a row(s) in the report that shows the Diary Entry time stamp along with the information you entered into each Tracker item for that entry. There is no aggregation of data across entries.
This report can be a great way to create a hard copy export of your Diary data, but it is unlikely that its something you want to sit down and review with your doctor. The report can be quite large depending on the number of Diary Entries during the period and the raw data by itself doesn’t always make the situation clear.
That said, if you do have a care giver that wants to see all the details, this is the report to use. It contains all of the information that you put into each entry in an easy to review format.
The Summary Report is where you will really see the benefits entering all those Diary Entries. CPT will aggregate all of your Diary data and can create more than 60 different types of graphs, charts and tables that help to show your pain trends and other health conditions and environmental factors.
We won’t get into all the details of this report here, but it is something you should really take a look at prior to each doctor’s visit. It can help you identify some of the key questions to ask in your next appointment. Maybe you’re seeing an increase in pain levels over last month. Or maybe a particular medication is looking like its not effecting your pain levels like it should. Or maybe you’re seeing a trend between your activity levels and pain levels. All of these types of insights are possible using the Summary Report.
Even better, the Summary Report is customizable, so you can include only those Tracker items that contain the info you want to dicuss. The report can be exported as a full color PDF for printing or e-mail, or you can review the graphs right within the CPT app with your doctor.
Getting the most out of CPT
Like any tracking and analysis tool, the benefits you get out of CPT will be directly proportional to the amount and quality of information you put into it. For our customers that have spent the time to learn the product and adapt it to their workflow, they are seeing huge benefits in using the CPT output to work with their doctors more effectively.
Unfortunately CPT won’t make the pain go away, but it can help you and your doctor zero in on the diagnosis and treatment plan that will help your pain condition. We hope you will find CPT a beneficial tool and we’re happy to help answer questions or listen to suggestions to make the product better.