Presentation, Treatment and Natural Course of Severe Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infections Measured by a Smartphone App
Background Urinary tract infections (UTI) are one of the most common conditions in females. Current information on presentation, management and natural course of the infection is based on paper diaries filled out by patients and subsequently posted. The aim of the study was to explore the feasibility of a smartphone app to assess the natural course and management of urinary tract infections.Methods A smartphone app was developed to collect data from study participants presenting in general
... ice with symptoms of a UTI. After initial demographic and treatment information, symptom severity was recorded by the patient upon a reminder on their smartphone which occurred twice daily for a period of 7 days or until symptom resolution. Results A total of 181 women aged 18-76 downloaded the smartphone app. Duration of symptoms was obtained from the results of 178 participants. All patients had a urine sample submitted, most patients were prescribed an antibiotic (90%) and 39% had a positive culture. Moderately bad or worse symptoms lasted a mean of 3.8 days (median 4) and 70% of patients indicated that they were cured on day 4 after consultation. This compares with other research assessing symptom duration and management of UTIs where data is collected by paper diaries. Patients were very positive about the usability of the smartphone app and often found the reminders supportive. Based on the feedback and the analysis of the data, some suggestions for improvement were made. Conclusions Smartphone diaries for symptom scores over the course of infections are an efficient and acceptable means to collect data in research.