Experience sampling

With the experience sampling method (ESM), participants answer questions about their mood, symptoms, activities, and social context multiple times per day. Each assessment can be easily completed on one’s own smartphone. By reflecting on mood and experiences several times a day, participants gain insight into their well-being and can thereby enhance their self-management.

Research has shown that many patients and clinicians believe that the ESM diary should be person-specific. Therefore, with PETRA they can adapt the diary based on the experiences that are relevant to the patient’s situation and treatment. This pertains to the content of the diary (i.e., the diary items), but also to the assessment frequency and duration of the diary period. These diary specifics can vary over the course of treatment. In the beginning of treatment, it might be helpful to assess many potentially relevant experiences at a high frequency. After a while, however, it may become clearer which experiences are most relevant to monitor, thereby focusing the contents of the diary and lowering the assessment frequency. PETRA helps patients and clinicians to determine which type of diary is most suitable for different types of clinical questions.


To help patients and clinicians decide on the right diary, PETRA offers a decision aid. This decision aid translates the clinical question to the relevant ESM diary.


PETRA further helps in attractively visualizing the gathered ESM data. PETRA’s feedback module helps patients and clinicians to interpret the data together.