Developing an evidence-informed mobile app for young people with arthritis

Last week, our qualitative study describing the views of young people, parents, carers and healthcare professionals regarding the required components of mobile apps to support self-management of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) was published in the Journal of mHealth and uHealth.

This paper discusses results from a study we conducted between 2016 and 2017, completing stage three of the modeling stage of the development and evaluation of a mobile app to support self-management of JIA by young people which began in 2014.

Stage one: Research prioritisation and identifying a need for a mobile app

The first stage of the project began back in 2014, and involved a user-led web-based survey of 14 young people with JIA to assess the need for a self-management mobile app. Components specified included the following: appointment and treatment reminders, a tool to record/monitor disease activity and quality of life, a goal-setting facility, and a secure central point to share experiences with peers. The results from this survey were presented in the form of a poster at the INVOLVE Conference in November 2014. 

Stage two: A systematic review of the literature to examine previous work

Stage two of the project included a systematic review of the effectiveness of apps for self-management of physical long-term conditions by young people. Few studies were found to use a systematic, young-person and family-led approach to app development and evaluation, thus confirming the need for this study.

A systematic review summarises the results of available, carefully designed healthcare studies (controlled trials) and provides a high level of evidence on the effectiveness of healthcare interventions. Judgments may be made about the evidence and inform recommendations for healthcare.”

Stage three: A qualitative study to understand and voice the views of young people, families and healthcare professionals

The third stage of the project (which we published last week) included a qualitative study to understand the preferred components of a mobile app for young people with JIA, their parents or carers, and professionals involved in their care, before developing an app. Check out the article via the link below!

Qualitative research studies are used to gain an understanding of underlying reasons, opinions, and motivations. This type of research provides insights into the problem or helps to develop ideas or hypotheses for further research. Qualitative Research is also used to uncover trends in thought and opinions, and dive deeper into the problem. Qualitative data collection methods vary using unstructured or semi-structured techniques. Some common methods of collecting qualitative data include focus groups (group discussions), individual interviews, and observations.” 

Citation: Waite-Jones JM, Majeed-Ariss R, Smith J, Stones SR, Van Rooyen V, Swallow V. Young People’s, Parents’, and Professionals’ Views on Required Components of Mobile Apps to Support Self-Management of Juvenile Arthritis: Qualitative Study. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth 2018; 6(1):e25. DOI: 10.2196/mhealth.9179.

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