Feasibility of an Interactive Patient Portal for Monitoring Physical Activity, Remote Symptom Reporting, and Patient Education in Oncology: Qualitative Study.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Digital health interventions, such as the use of patient portals, have been shown to offer benefits to a range of patients including those with a diagnosis of cancer. OBJECTIVE:This study aimed to explore the participant experience and perception of using an interactive Web-based portal for monitoring physical activity, remote symptom reporting, and delivering educational components. METHODS:Participants who were currently under treatment or had recently completed intensive treatment for cancer were recruited to three cohorts and invited to join a Web-based portal to enhance their physical activity. Cohort 1 received Web portal access and an activity monitor; cohort 2 had additional summative messaging; and cohort 3 had additional personalized health coaching messaging. Following the 10-week intervention, participants were invited to participate in a semistructured interview. Interview recordings were transcribed and evaluated using qualitative thematic analysis. RESULTS:A total of 17 semistructured interviews were carried out. Participants indicated that using the Web portal was feasible. Personalized messaging improved participant perceptions of the value of the intervention. There was a contrast between cohorts and levels of engagement with increasing health professional contact leading to an increase in engagement. Educational material needs to be tailored to the participants' cancer treatment status, health literacy, and background. CONCLUSIONS:Participants reported an overall positive experience using the Web portal and that personalized messaging positively impacted on their health behaviors. Future studies should focus more on design of interventions, ensuring appropriate tailoring of information and personalization of behavioral support messaging. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID):RR2-10.2196/9586.
Project description:Despite the growing number of mental health apps available for smartphones, the perceived usability of these apps from the perspectives of end users or health care experts has rarely been reported. This information is vital, particularly for self-guided mHealth interventions, as perceptions of navigability and quality of content are likely to impact participant engagement and treatment compliance.The aim of this study was to conduct a usability evaluation of a personalized, self-guided, app-based intervention for depression.Participants were administered the System Usability Scale and open-ended questions as part of a semistructured interview. There were 15 participants equally divided into 3 groups: (1) individuals with clinical depression who were the target audience for the app, (2) mental health professionals, and (3) researchers who specialize in the area of eHealth interventions and/or depression research.The end-user group rated the app highly, both in quantitative and qualitative assessments. The 2 expert groups highlighted the self-monitoring features and range of established psychological treatment options (such as behavioral activation and cognitive restructuring) but had concerns that the amount and layout of content may be difficult for end users to navigate in a self-directed fashion. The end-user data did not confirm these concerns.Encouraging participant engagement via self-monitoring and feedback, as well as personalized messaging, may be a viable way to maintain participation in self-guided interventions. Further evaluation is necessary to determine whether levels of engagement with these features enhance treatment effects.
Project description:BACKGROUND:In addition to addiction and substance abuse, motivational interviewing (MI) is increasingly being integrated in treating other clinical issues such as mental health problems. Most of the many technological adaptations of MI, however, have focused on delivering the action-oriented treatment, leaving its relational component unexplored or vaguely described. This study intended to design a conversational sequence that considers both technical and relational components of MI for a mental health concern. OBJECTIVE:This case study aimed to design a conversational sequence for a brief motivational interview to be delivered by a Web-based text messaging application (chatbot) and to investigate its conversational experience with graduate students in their coping with stress. METHODS:A brief conversational sequence was designed with varied combinations of MI skills to follow the 4 processes of MI. A Web-based text messaging application, Bonobot, was built as a research prototype to deliver the sequence in a conversation. A total of 30 full-time graduate students who self-reported stress with regard to their school life were recruited for a survey of demographic information and perceived stress and a semistructured interview. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed by Braun and Clarke's thematic method. The themes that reflect the process of, impact of, and needs for the conversational experience are reported. RESULTS:Participants had a high level of perceived stress (mean 22.5 [SD 5.0]). Our findings included the following themes: Evocative Questions and Clichéd Feedback; Self-Reflection and Potential Consolation; and Need for Information and Contextualized Feedback. Participants particularly favored the relay of evocative questions but were less satisfied with the agent-generated reflective and affirming feedback that filled in-between. Discussing the idea of change was a good means of reflecting on themselves, and some of Bonobot's encouragements related to graduate school life were appreciated. Participants suggested the conversation provide informational support, as well as more contextualized feedback. CONCLUSIONS:A conversational sequence for a brief motivational interview was presented in this case study. Participant feedback suggests sequencing questions and MI-adherent statements can facilitate a conversation for stress management, which may encourage a chance of self-reflection. More diversified sequences, along with more contextualized feedback, should follow to offer a better conversational experience and to confirm any empirical effect.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Epidemiologic cohort studies have begun to leverage electronic research participant portals to facilitate data collection, integrate wearable technologies, lower costs, and engage participants. However, little is known about the acceptability of portal use by research participants. OBJECTIVE:The aim of this study is to conduct focus groups among a sample of Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3) participants to better understand their preferences and concerns about research portals. METHODS:CPS-3 participants were stratified based on sex, race and ethnicity, age, and cancer status, and randomly invited to participate. Focus groups used an exploratory case design with semistructured guides to prompt discussion. Using a constant comparison technique, transcripts were assigned codes to identify themes. RESULTS:Participants (31/59, 52% women; 52/59, 88% White/non-Latinx) were favorably disposed toward using a research participant portal to take surveys, communicate with the study staff, and upload data. Most participants indicated that a portal would be beneficial and convenient but expressed concerns over data safety. Participants stressed the importance of an easy-to-use and trustworthy portal that is compatible with mobile devices. CONCLUSIONS:In addition to being beneficial to researchers, portals may also benefit participants as long as the portals are secure and simple. Participants believe that portals can provide convenient ways to report data and remain connected to the study.
Project description:Patient portals have shown promise in engaging individuals in self-management of chronic conditions by allowing patients to input and track health information and exchange secure electronic messages with their providers. Past studies have identified patient barriers to portal use including usability issues, low health literacy, and concerns about loss of personal contact as well as provider concerns such as increased time spent responding to messages. However, to date, studies of both patient and provider perspectives on portal use have focused on the pre-implementation or initial implementation phases and do not consider how these issues may change as patients and providers gain greater experience with portals.Our study examined the following research question: Within primary care offices with high rates of patient-portal use, what do experienced physician and patient users of the ambulatory portal perceive as the benefits and challenges of portal use in general and secure messaging in particular?This qualitative study involved 42 interviews with experienced physician and patient users of an ambulatory patient portal, Epic's MyChart. Participants were recruited from the Department of Family Medicine at a large Academic Medical Center (AMC) and included providers and their patients, who had been diagnosed with at least one chronic condition. A total of 29 patients and 13 primary care physicians participated in the interviews. All interviews were conducted by telephone and followed a semistructured interview guide. Interviews were transcribed verbatim to permit rigorous qualitative analysis. Both inductive and deductive methods were used to code and analyze the data iteratively, paying particular attention to themes involving secure messaging.Experienced portal users discussed several emergent themes related to a need for greater clarity on when and how to use the secure messaging feature. Patient concerns included worry about imposing on their physician's time, the lack of provider compensation for responding to secure messages, and uncertainty about when to use secure messaging to communicate with their providers. Similarly, providers articulated a lack of clarity as to the appropriate way to communicate via MyChart and suggested that additional training for both patients and providers might be important. Patient training could include orienting patients to the "rules of engagement" at portal sign-up, either in the office or through an online tutorial.As secure messaging through patient portals is increasingly being used as a method of physician-patient communication, both patients and providers are looking for guidance on how to appropriately engage with each other using this tool. Patients worry about whether their use is appropriate, and providers are concerned about the content of messages, which allow them to effectively manage patient questions. Our findings suggest that additional training may help address the concerns of both patients and providers, by providing "rules of engagement" for communication via patient portals.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Alcohol consumption in the UK Armed Forces is higher than in the general population, and this pattern continues after leaving the service. Smartphone apps may be useful to increase ex-serving personnel's awareness of their alcohol consumption, support self-monitoring, and prompt a change in behavior. OBJECTIVE:The study aimed to explore the acceptability of Information about Drinking in Ex-serving personnel (InDEx), a tailored smartphone app, combined with personalized short message service (SMS) text messaging designed to target ex-serving personnel who meet the criteria for hazardous alcohol use. METHODS:The InDEx intervention included 4 key modules: (1) assessment and normative feedback, (2) self-monitoring and feedback, (3) goal setting and review, and (4) personalized SMS text messaging. A semistructured telephone interview study was conducted with ex-serving personnel after using the app for a 28-day period. Interviews were used to explore the acceptability of app modules and its functionality and the perceived changes in participant's drinking. Interview transcripts were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis. RESULTS:Overall, 94% (29/31) participants who used InDEx agreed to take part in a telephone interview. Overall, 4 themes were identified: Credibility, Meeting their needs, Simplicity, and Helpful for ex-serving personnel. The importance of credibility, functionality, and meeting the individual needs of ex-serving personnel was emphasized. Acceptability and engagement with specific modules of the app and text messages were influenced by the following: (1) if they felt it provided credible information, (2) whether the content was appropriately personalized to them, (3) the ease of use, and (4) beliefs about their own drinking behaviors. Participants recommended that the app would be most suitable for personnel about to leave the Armed Forces. CONCLUSIONS:InDEx was an acceptable smartphone app for ex-serving personnel for monitoring alcohol consumption and in providing meaningful feedback to the individual. Pages that met the participant's interests and provided real time personalized, credible feedback on their drinking and text messages tailored to participant's interactions with the app were particularly favored.
Project description:<b>Background:</b>Technology-assisted self-management programs are increasingly recommended to patients with long-term conditions such as diabetes. However, there are a number of personal and external factors that affect patients' abilities to engage with and effectively utilize such programs. A randomized controlled trial of a multi-modal online program for diabetes self-management (BetaMe/Melon) was conducted in a primary care setting, and a process evaluation was completed at the end of the study period.<br><br><b>Objective:</b>This process evaluation aimed to examine the utilization patterns of BetaMe/Melon, identify which components participants found most (and least) useful, and identify areas of future improvement.<br><br><b>Methods:</b>Process evaluation data were collected for intervention arm participants from 3 sources: (1) the mobile/web platform (to identify key usage patterns over the 16-week core program), (2) an online questionnaire completed during the final study assessment, and (3) interviews conducted with a subset of participants following the study period. Participants were classified as "actively engaged" if any usage data was recorded for the participant (in any week), and patterns were reported by age, gender, ethnicity, and diabetes/prediabetes status. The online questionnaire asked participants about the usefulness of the program and whether they would recommend BetaMe/Melon to others according to a 5-point Likert Scale. Of 23 invited participants, 18 participated in a digitally recorded, semistructured telephone interview. Interview data were thematically analyzed.<br><br><b>Results:</b>Out of the 215 participants, 198 (92%) received an initial health coaching session, and 160 (74%) were actively engaged with the program at some point during the 16-week core program. Engagement varied by demographic, with women, younger participants, and ethnic majority populations having higher rates of engagement. Usage steadily declined from 50% at Week 0 to 23% at Week 15. Participants ranked component usefulness as education resources (63.7%), health coaches (59.2%), goal tracking (48.8%), and online peer support (42.1%). Although 53% agreed that the program was easy to use, 64% would recommend the program to others. Interview participants found BetaMe/Melon useful overall, with most identifying beneficial outcomes such as increased knowledge, behavioral changes, and weight loss. Barriers to engagement were program functionality, internet connectivity, incomplete delivery of all program components, and participant motivation. Participants suggested a range of improvements to the BetaMe/Melon program.<br><br><b>Conclusions:</b>The program was generally well received by participants; active engagement was initially high, although it declined steadily. Maintaining participant engagement over time, individualizing programs, and addressing technical barriers are important to maximize potential health benefits from online diabetes self-management programs.<br><br><b>Trial registration:</b>Australian New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry ACTRN12617000549325; https://tinyurl.com/y622b27q.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>To determine the accuracy of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) for screening to detect major depression.<h4>Design</h4>Individual participant data meta-analysis.<h4>Data sources</h4>Medline, Medline In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, PsycINFO, and Web of Science (January 2000-February 2015).<h4>Inclusion criteria</h4>Eligible studies compared PHQ-9 scores with major depression diagnoses from validated diagnostic interviews. Primary study data and study level data extracted from primary reports were synthesized. For PHQ-9 cut-off scores 5-15, bivariate random effects meta-analysis was used to estimate pooled sensitivity and specificity, separately, among studies that used semistructured diagnostic interviews, which are designed for administration by clinicians; fully structured interviews, which are designed for lay administration; and the Mini International Neuropsychiatric (MINI) diagnostic interviews, a brief fully structured interview. Sensitivity and specificity were examined among participant subgroups and, separately, using meta-regression, considering all subgroup variables in a single model.<h4>Results</h4>Data were obtained for 58 of 72 eligible studies (total n=17?357; major depression cases n=2312). Combined sensitivity and specificity was maximized at a cut-off score of 10 or above among studies using a semistructured interview (29 studies, 6725 participants; sensitivity 0.88, 95% confidence interval 0.83 to 0.92; specificity 0.85, 0.82 to 0.88). Across cut-off scores 5-15, sensitivity with semistructured interviews was 5-22% higher than for fully structured interviews (MINI excluded; 14 studies, 7680 participants) and 2-15% higher than for the MINI (15 studies, 2952 participants). Specificity was similar across diagnostic interviews. The PHQ-9 seems to be similarly sensitive but may be less specific for younger patients than for older patients; a cut-off score of 10 or above can be used regardless of age..<h4>Conclusions</h4>PHQ-9 sensitivity compared with semistructured diagnostic interviews was greater than in previous conventional meta-analyses that combined reference standards. A cut-off score of 10 or above maximized combined sensitivity and specificity overall and for subgroups.<h4>Registration</h4>PROSPERO CRD42014010673.
Project description:Background:Over the past decade, public interest in managing health-related information for personal understanding and self-improvement has rapidly expanded. This study explored aspects of how patient-provided health information could be obtained through an electronic portal and presented to inform and engage patients while also providing information for healthcare providers. Methods:We invited participants using ResearchMatch from 2 cohorts: (1) self-reported healthy volunteers (no medical conditions) and (2) individuals with a self-reported diagnosis of anxiety and/or depression. Participants used a secure web application (dashboard) to complete the PROMIS® domain survey(s) and then complete a feedback survey. A community engagement studio with 5 healthcare providers assessed perspectives on the feasibility and features of a portal to collect and display patient provided health information. We used bivariate analyses and regression analyses to determine differences between cohorts. Results:A total of 480 participants completed the study (239 healthy, 241 anxiety and/or depression). While participants from the tw2o cohorts had significantly different PROMIS scores (p?<?.05), both cohorts welcomed the concept of a patient-centric dashboard, saw value in sharing results with their healthcare provider, and wanted to view results over time. However, factors needing consideration before widespread use included personalization for the patient and their health issues, integration with existing information (eg electronic health records), and integration into clinician workflow. Conclusions:Our findings demonstrated a strong desire among healthy people, patients with chronic diseases, and healthcare providers for a self-assessment portal that can collect patient-reported outcome metrics and deliver personalized feedback.
Project description:PURPOSE:Personalized and interactive text messaging interventions may increase participant engagement; yet, how to design messages that retain adolescent attention and positively affect sexual health behaviors remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to identify the characteristics of sexual health text messages perceived as engaging by sexually active adolescent females. METHODS:We conducted semistructured, open-ended interviews with sexually active females aged 14-19 in one urban emergency department. Participants received automated sexual health information sent via an interactive, two-way texting format. The 343 messages viewed by participants were based on key stakeholder input, relevant theoretical models, and existing evidence-based guidelines. Interviews elicited feedback. Enrollment continued until saturation of themes. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and coded based on thematic analysis using NVivo 10. RESULTS:Participants (n = 31) were predominantly Hispanic (28; 90%), insured (29; 94%), and recently sexually active (24; 77%). Themes were as follows: (1) Tone: messages should be direct, factual, entertaining, and respect adolescent autonomy; messages should not be intrusive, presumptive, or preachy. (2) Emotion evoked: participants preferred messages that provoked thought, validated feelings, and empowered. Messages from a reliable source felt comforting, making participants feel cared for and special. (3) Interactivity: participants favored messages that offered choices, such as a mini-conversation. (4) Personalization: messages should look similar to adolescent digital preferences but be individually tailored with relatable characters. CONCLUSIONS:This study informs the tone, structure, and style of sexual health text messages directed toward adolescent females in the emergency department. Future work should consider these characteristics when designing digital interventions to engage adolescent females.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Patient portals can offer patients an opportunity to engage in the advance care planning (ACP) process outside of clinical visits. OBJECTIVE:To describe patient perspectives on use of patient portal-based ACP tools. DESIGN:Interviews with patients who used portal-based ACP tools. The tools included an electronic Medical Durable Power of Attorney (MDPOA) form to designate a medical decision maker, a patient-centered educational web page, online messaging, and patient access to completed advance directives stored in the electronic health record (EHR). SETTING:Regional health-care system with a common EHR. MEASUREMENTS:Semistructured interviews with purposefully sampled patients who used the ACP tools. Questions explored motivations for using the tools and perceptions about how the tools fit into ACP. Analysis followed a grounded hermeneutic editing approach. RESULTS:From 46 patients (mean age: 49, 63% female), 4 key themes emerged: (1) individualized explorations of the ACP tools, (2) personal initiation and engagement with ACP tools through the portal, (3) value of connecting ACP portal tools to clinical care, and (4) practicality of the ACP tools. Patients described benefits of communicating with health-care team members who referred them to online ACP tools, as well as having the electronic MDPOA form connected to clinical care. CONCLUSIONS:Patients considered the portal-based ACP tools to be practical and feasible to use within the scope of their own ACP experiences. Further study is needed to understand whether portal-based ACP tools increase the quality and quantity of ACP conversations and documentation that is available to inform medical decision-making.