Objective: We evaluated the feasibility of electronic data capture of self-administered patient questionnaires via Tablet PC for integration in routine patient management and compared these data with results received from corresponding paper-pencil versions.
Methods: Standardized patient questionnaires (FFbH/HAQ, BASDAI, SF-36) were implemented in our documentation software. 153 outpatients (rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, spondyloarthritis) completed sets of questionnaires as paper-pencil and electronic versions using a Tablet PC. Quality and validity of mobile obtained data and the capability of disabled patients to handle a Tablet PC were assigned, patients’ experiences, preferences and computer/internet use assessed.
Results: Scores obtained by direct data entry on the Tablet PC did not differ from the scores obtained by the paper-pencil questionnaires in the complete group and disease subgroups. No major difficulties using the Tablet PC occurred. 62.1% preferred remote data entry in the future. 7 (=4.6%) patients felt uncomfortable with the Tablet PC due to their rheumatic disease.
Conclusion: Self-administered questionnaires via Tablet PC are a facile and capable option in patients with rheumatic diseases to monitor disease activity, efficacy, and safety assessments continuously. Tablet PC application offers directly available data for clinical decision-making, improves quality of care by effective patient monitoring, and contributes to patients’ empowerment.