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How the weather affects the pain of citizen scientists using a smartphone app


This study has demonstrated that higher relative humidity and wind speed, and lower atmospheric pressure, were associated with increased pain severity in people with long-term pain conditions


William G. Dixon, Anna L. Beukenhorst, Belay B. Yimer, Louise Cook, Antonio Gasparrini, Tal El-Hay, Bruce Hellman, Ben James, Ana M. Vicedo-Cabrera, Malcolm Maclure, Ricardo Silva, John Ainsworth, Huai Leng Pisaniello, Thomas House, Mark Lunt, Carolyn Gamble, Caroline Sanders, David M. Schultz, Jamie C. Sergeant, John McBeth


  • Recruitment and retention

    The study app was downloaded by 13,207 users over the 12-month recruitment period (Figs 1 and 2a) with recruitment from all 124 UK postcode areas. A total of 10,584 participants had complete baseline information and at least one pain entry, with 6850 (65%) participants remaining in the study beyond their first week and 4692 (44%) beyond their first month (Fig.


  • In summary, our large national smartphone study has successfully supported the collection of daily symptoms and high-quality weather data, allowing examination of the relationship between weather and pain. The analysis has demonstrated significant relationships between relative humidity, pressure, wind speed and pain, with correlations remaining even when accounting for mood and physical activity.

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