ePain: An Electronic Pain Diary

As part of an ongoing research project, we are currently collecting daily pain ratings from individuals experiencing chronic pain. To automate the collection of these ratings, we have created a simple and easy-to-use computer program called ePain. This program can be downloaded by clicking the link to the right. The program requires a Windows operating system and a PDF viewer.

Note: If you are not taking part in this research study, but are interested in using ePain, you are more than welcome to download this program.

Diary Page

The main screen of the program contains the diary. This screen asks you to (1) rate your current pain, mood, and level of activity, (2) indicate on the body image those areas that are painful today, and (3) describe how your day was today. You would normally provide one diary entry per day and usually at the end of your day. However, nothing in the program stops you from entering as many diary entries as you wish on any given day.

Screenshot of ePain front page

Each diary entry is called a record. When you have completed your entry for the day, just click on the Save Record button to save your entry and place it in the program's database.

Identifying Body Areas with Pain

The program allows for you to indicate areas of pain by drawing on the body diagram. To highlight body areas that are painful, you simply move your mouse to that body area and left click the mouse. This will create a red circle on the body area. If you right click your mouse, the red circle can be erased.


At the bottom of the drawing area there are two control buttons. The plus button displays that last pain drawing that you had completed. If your areas of pain are relatively stable, using this button will save you time and reduces the need to recreate the same pain drawing each day. The minus button clears the drawing area and allows you to start a new pain drawing.

Your Pain Drawing Self-Corrects

When you save your entry, the program automatically erases any red dots that occur outside of the body image and redraws the body outline. This means that you do not need to be overly careful when you are creating your pain drawing. Also, you can erase any of the body lines and the program will correct your drawing upon saving. For example, in the picture below, the image to the left represents a pain drawing before it is saved and the image to the right is what the drawing looks like after it has been saved. 


Prior Records Page

The program allows you to review your prior diary entries. To do so, click Menu and then select Review Prior Records. This will show the Prior Records page. Use the navigation buttons at the bottom of the body diagram to move through all of your prior diary records. If you wish, you can delete any record by clicking the Delete button. 

Screenshot of record page

The program allows you to print any diary entry by clicking the Print button. When you click the Print button, the program creates a PDF and then attempts to show that file in your PDF reader. You can then print or save that file. An example of a printed diary record is shown below.


Displaying Multiple Records

To view more than one diary record, select Record Summary from Menu. This allows you to view a range of up to 100 records and displays a summary pain drawing as well as charts of pain, mood, and activity ratings. In the summary pain drawing, red shading is used to depict how frequently specific body areas were selected. The brighter the area, the more frequent that area was selected across the selected range of diary records. For example, the image below depicts how summary information for eight records would appear in the program. Once displayed, you can print this information by clicking the Print button.  



If you have any questions regarding this program or the study using this program , feel free to contact Dr. Jeff McKillop