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Mobile App Prototype in Older Adults for Postfracture Acute Pain Management: User-Centered Design Approach

HumanInsight Mobile App Prototype in Older Adults for Postfracture Acute Pain Management: User-Centered Design Approach

JMIR Aging. 2022 Oct 17;5(4):e37772. doi: 10.2196/37772.


BACKGROUND: Postfracture acute pain is often inadequately managed in older adults. Mobile health (mHealth) technologies can offer opportunities for self-management of pain; however, insufficient apps exist for acute pain management after a fracture, and none are designed for an older adult population.

OBJECTIVE: This study aims to design, develop, and evaluate an mHealth app prototype using a human-centered design approach to support older adults in the self-management of postfracture acute pain.

METHODS: This study used a multidisciplinary and user-centered design approach. Overall, 7 stakeholders (ie, 1 clinician-researcher specialized in internal medicine, 2 user experience designers, 1 computer science researcher, 1 clinical research assistant researcher, and 2 pharmacists) from the project team, together with 355 external stakeholders, were involved throughout our user-centered development process that included surveys, requirement elicitation, participatory design workshops, mobile app design and development, mobile app content development, and usability testing. We completed this study in 3 phases. We analyzed data from prior surveys administered to 305 members of the Canadian Osteoporosis Patient Network and 34 health care professionals to identify requirements for designing a low-fidelity prototype. Next, we facilitated 4 participatory design workshops with 6 participants for feedback on content, presentation, and interaction with our proposed low-fidelity prototype. After analyzing the collected data using thematic analysis, we designed a medium-fidelity prototype. Finally, to evaluate our medium-fidelity prototype, we conducted usability tests with 10 participants. The results informed the design of our high-fidelity prototype. Throughout all the phases of this development study, we incorporated inputs from health professionals to ensure the accuracy and validity of the medical content in our prototypes.

RESULTS: We identified 3 categories of functionalities necessary to include in the design of our initial low-fidelity prototype: the need for support resources, diary entries, and access to educational materials. We then conducted a thematic analysis of the data collected in the design workshops, which revealed 4 themes: feedback on the user interface design and usability, requests for additional functionalities, feedback on medical guides and educational materials, and suggestions for additional medical content. On the basis of these results, we designed a medium-fidelity prototype. All the participants in the usability evaluation tests found the medium-fidelity prototype useful and easy to use. On the basis of the feedback and difficulties experienced by participants, we adjusted our design in preparation for the high-fidelity prototype.

CONCLUSIONS: We designed, developed, and evaluated an mHealth app to support older adults in the self-management of pain after a fracture. The participants found our proposed prototype useful for managing acute pain and easy to interact with and navigate. Assessment of the clinical outcomes and long-term effects of our proposed mHealth app will be evaluated in the future.

PMID:36251348 | DOI:10.2196/37772

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