Clinical Remote Monitoring of Individuals With Spinal Cord Injury at Risk for Pressure Injury Recurrence Using mHealth: Protocol for a Pilot, Pragmatic, Hybrid Implementation Trial

Melissa M. Morrow, Lynne C. Hughes, Diane M. Collins, Tamara L. Vos-Draper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Pressure injuries are one of the most challenging secondary conditions for individuals with spinal cord injuries and related disorders (SCI/D) owing to inherent, lifelong risk factors that include a lack of sensory and motor function below the level of injury and reliance on a wheelchair for daily mobility, resulting in prolonged periods of sitting. Although many factors contribute to the development of pressure injuries, the pressure between the skin and a surface is always a factor and the development of injury is dependent on the magnitude and duration of the pressure. Clinically, broad recommendations for relieving pressure are used because we know very little about the unique day-to-day life patterns of the individual wheelchair user. Typically, it is after the occurrence of a pressure injury that the therapist will check equipment fit and the effectiveness of pressure offloading and ask about other surfaces they sit on in their home and community. This time-lapsed, largely self-reported data are fraught with recall bias and inaccuracies that the therapist incorporates into a plan of care. Objective: This study’s objective is to pilot-test the implementation and clinical effectiveness of a telehealth model of care combined with our mobile health (mHealth) Assisted Weight-Shift device for remote monitoring of factors related to maintaining skin health and wheelchair setup. Our overall hypothesis is that this study will result in an effective implementation plan, and the enhanced connected model of care using remote monitoring of pressure management will result in pilot-level, improved clinical outcomes for adults with spinal cord injury at high risk for pressure injury recurrence. Methods: For all aims, we will use a mixed methods design using an exploratory, sequential approach to include the strengths of both qualitative and quantitative data. For aims 1 and 2, we will iteratively collect qualitative data from therapists, patients with SCI/D, and other stakeholders. For aim 3, we will perform a hybrid effectiveness-implementation randomized controlled trial to pilot-test the intervention. The projected results include an iteratively developed and tested implementation plan that meets moderate to high levels of acceptability, feasibility, and appropriateness. Additionally, the pilot trial results are expected to show positive trends in relevant clinical outcomes related to reduced pressure injury incidence, recurrence, and improved healing when compared with the standard of care. Results: Currently, 6 participants have been recruited for our aim-1 qualitative study. Conclusions: This study will expand upon our previous study to move the Assisted Weight-Shift system into routine clinical care, which was a strong desire of adults with SCI/D for improved individualized care plans to prevent pressure injuries. The results of this study will guide the next steps in a full, hybrid effectiveness-implementation trial with the goal of improving care to prevent pressure injuries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere51849
JournalJMIR research protocols
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024

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  • mobile phone
  • pressure injury
  • seating and mobility
  • weight shift behavior
  • wheelchair user

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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