Smartphone Use, Access, and Acceptability among People with Epilepsy: A Needs Assessment of an mHealth Application Open Access
Akazawa, Margeaux Kiyoko (2014)
Background: Individuals living with a chronic condition like epilepsy must adopt successful self-management (SM) techniques to adhere to medications, prevent seizures, and maintain a healthy quality of life. A smartphone based SM application has the potential to improve SM behaviors among this population as a handheld device can provide more consistent monitoring through frequent interaction with the individual. Additionally the cost-effectiveness, remote capabilities, and confidentiality of a mobile device can address the economic, transportation, and stigma-related challenges faced by people with epilepsy (PWE).
Purpose: Using the Diffusion of Innovations (DOI), the purpose of this study was to understand the compatibility of mobile phone technology with the lifestyles of PWE, the complexities they encounter in using this technology, and their current SM practices, felt needs, and communication behaviors.
Methods: A total of ten PWE with access to smartphones participated in three over-the-phone focus groups. The focus groups were semi-structured and approximately 2 hours in duration. Data were analyzed using deductive and inductive codes based on the DOI constructs and research questions. The codes were systematically analyzed within and across the three focus groups to identify patterns and themes.
Results: Participants were 29.20 (±9.69) years old, predominantly female (n=7), African American (n=6), and reported having epilepsy for 13 years (±6.5). Participants were the primary owners of their smartphones, used their smartphones daily, and used their smartphones in creative ways to SM their epilepsy. Participant suggested 5 content areas for a smartphone app for PWE: 1) logging of medication adherence and seizure type and frequency, 2) emergency services for and in response to unexpected seizures, 3) credible information resource for new treatments and research, 4) a tool to facilitate communication with physician, and 5) support for PWE.
Conclusion: There is a strong potential for smartphones to address the SM needs of PWE as well as a potential for health providers to use mHealth tools with this population.
Table of Contents
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION 1Purpose of the Study 3
CHAPTER II: LITERATURE REVIEW 5Epilepsy 5 Disease Burden and Impact on Quality of Life 5 Epilepsy Self-Management 7 Mobile Phone and Wireless Technologies 10 Digital Divide 10 Mobile Potential 12
mHealth: Promise, Potential, and Gaps in the Literature 13Diffusion of Innovations 15 Diffusion of Innovations in mHealth Literature 17 Conclusion 18
CHAPTER III: METHODS 19Participants 19 Recruitment 19 Measures 20 Focus Group Procedures 22 Post-Hoc Procedures 23 Data Collection, Management, and Analysis 23
CHAPTER IV: RESULTS 25Study Participants 25 Technology Access of Focus Group Participants 27 PWE without Access to Smartphones 29
Research Question 1: How compatible is smartphone technology with the lifestyles of PWE? 30Smartphone Ownership 30 Advantages of Smartphones 31 Daily Use 32
Research Question 2: What are the complexities PWE encounter in using or accessing smartphone technology? 33Socioeconomic Characteristics 33 Disadvantages of Smartphones 34
Research Question 3: What are PWE's current epilepsy SM techniques and how do they prefer to receive information on treatment and SM techniques?36Current SM practices 36
Communication Channels: Epilepsy and SM techniques 36
Research Question 4: What are the felt SM needs of PWE and how can a mobile phone application meet them? 38Previous Practice 38
Felt Needs and Suggestions for a Smartphone Application for PWE 39
Considerations: Perceived Characteristics of the Innovation 41
CHAPTER V: DISCUSSION 44Limitations 46 Strengths 47 Implications and Recommendations 48
APPENDICES 55Appendix A: Recruitment Flyer 56 Appendix B: Demographic Survey Form 57 Appendix C: Focus Group Guide 59 Appendix D: Focus Group Participation Consent Form 63
About this Master's Thesis
|Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor|
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