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Acceptance factors of mobile apps for diabetes by patients aged 50 or older: a qualitative study.

Scheibe M, Reichelt J, Bellmann M, Kirch W - Med 2 0 (2015)

Bottom Line: The reasons reported for being against the use of apps were a lack of additional benefits (4/8, 50%) compared to current therapy management, a lack of interoperability with other devices/apps (1/8, 12%), and no joy of use (1/8, 12%).The most important contact persons for technical questions were family members (19/31, 61%).Personal contact persons, especially during the initial phase of use, are of utmost importance to reduce the fear of data loss or erroneous data input, and to raise acceptance among this target group.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Technische Universität Dresden, Medizinische Fakultät Carl Gustav Carus, Research Association Public Health Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, Dresden, Germany. Madlen.Scheibe@uniklinikum-dresden.de.

ABSTRACT

Background: Mobile apps for people with diabetes offer great potential to support therapy management, increase therapy adherence, and reduce the probability of the occurrence of accompanying and secondary diseases. However, they are rarely used by elderly patients due to a lack of acceptance.

Objective: We investigated the question "Which factors influence the acceptance of diabetes apps among patients aged 50 or older?" Particular emphasis was placed on the current use of mobile devices/apps, acceptance-promoting/-inhibiting factors, features of a helpful diabetes app, and contact persons for technical questions. This qualitative study was the third of three substudies investigating factors influencing acceptance of diabetes apps among patients aged 50 or older.

Methods: Guided interviews were chosen in order to get a comprehensive insight into the subjective perspective of elderly diabetes patients. At the end of each interview, the patients tested two existing diabetes apps to reveal obstacles in (first) use.

Results: Altogether, 32 patients with diabetes were interviewed. The mean age was 68.8 years (SD 8.2). Of 32 participants, 15 (47%) knew apps, however only 2 (6%) had already used a diabetes app within their therapy. The reasons reported for being against the use of apps were a lack of additional benefits (4/8, 50%) compared to current therapy management, a lack of interoperability with other devices/apps (1/8, 12%), and no joy of use (1/8, 12%). The app test revealed the following main difficulties in use: nonintuitive understanding of the functionality of the apps (26/29, 90%), nonintuitive understanding of the menu navigation/labeling (19/29, 66%), font sizes and representations that were too small (14/29, 48%), and difficulties in recognizing and pressing touch-sensitive areas (14/29, 48%). Furthermore, the patients felt the apps lacked individually important functions (11/29, 38%), or felt the functions that were offered were unnecessary for their own therapy needs (10/29, 34%). The most important contents of a helpful diabetes app were reported as the ability to add remarks to measured values (9/28, 32%), the definition of thresholds for blood glucose values and highlighting deviating values (7/28, 25%), and a reminder feature for measurement/medication (7/28, 25%). The most important contact persons for technical questions were family members (19/31, 61%).

Conclusions: A lack of additional benefits and ease of use emerged as the key factors for the acceptance of diabetes apps among patients aged 50 or older. Furthermore, it has been shown that the needs of the investigated target group are highly heterogeneous due to varying previous knowledge, age, type of diabetes, and therapy. Therefore, a helpful diabetes app should be individually adaptable. Personal contact persons, especially during the initial phase of use, are of utmost importance to reduce the fear of data loss or erroneous data input, and to raise acceptance among this target group.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Screenshots of the start screens of the tested apps, Glukose Monitor (left) and OnTrack Diabetes (right).
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figure1: Screenshots of the start screens of the tested apps, Glukose Monitor (left) and OnTrack Diabetes (right).

Mentions: The tested apps needed to satisfy the following criteria: (1) have German content, (2) be among the top 10 most commonly installed diabetes apps in the respective app store at the time of their selection (July 2013), and (3) be multifunctional (ie, able to combine several functions within one app). The following functions were offered by both apps: documentation function, analysis function, reminder function, and data forwarding/communication function. These functions are described in more detail in Arnhold et al [1]. Figure 1 shows screenshots of the start screens of both apps in order to illustrate their range of functions. In the run-up to the test, the participants did consciously not receive any form of introduction to the apps or the devices on which they were presented. The order in which the apps were presented was randomized to prevent an impact by the presentation order. Both apps were tested on tablets to increase the user-friendliness for the target group [48]. A pretest of the interview guidelines was performed prior to the commencement of the field work. Based on the results of the pretest, the guideline was slightly revised.


Acceptance factors of mobile apps for diabetes by patients aged 50 or older: a qualitative study.

Scheibe M, Reichelt J, Bellmann M, Kirch W - Med 2 0 (2015)

Screenshots of the start screens of the tested apps, Glukose Monitor (left) and OnTrack Diabetes (right).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4376102&req=5

figure1: Screenshots of the start screens of the tested apps, Glukose Monitor (left) and OnTrack Diabetes (right).
Mentions: The tested apps needed to satisfy the following criteria: (1) have German content, (2) be among the top 10 most commonly installed diabetes apps in the respective app store at the time of their selection (July 2013), and (3) be multifunctional (ie, able to combine several functions within one app). The following functions were offered by both apps: documentation function, analysis function, reminder function, and data forwarding/communication function. These functions are described in more detail in Arnhold et al [1]. Figure 1 shows screenshots of the start screens of both apps in order to illustrate their range of functions. In the run-up to the test, the participants did consciously not receive any form of introduction to the apps or the devices on which they were presented. The order in which the apps were presented was randomized to prevent an impact by the presentation order. Both apps were tested on tablets to increase the user-friendliness for the target group [48]. A pretest of the interview guidelines was performed prior to the commencement of the field work. Based on the results of the pretest, the guideline was slightly revised.

Bottom Line: The reasons reported for being against the use of apps were a lack of additional benefits (4/8, 50%) compared to current therapy management, a lack of interoperability with other devices/apps (1/8, 12%), and no joy of use (1/8, 12%).The most important contact persons for technical questions were family members (19/31, 61%).Personal contact persons, especially during the initial phase of use, are of utmost importance to reduce the fear of data loss or erroneous data input, and to raise acceptance among this target group.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Technische Universität Dresden, Medizinische Fakultät Carl Gustav Carus, Research Association Public Health Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, Dresden, Germany. Madlen.Scheibe@uniklinikum-dresden.de.

ABSTRACT

Background: Mobile apps for people with diabetes offer great potential to support therapy management, increase therapy adherence, and reduce the probability of the occurrence of accompanying and secondary diseases. However, they are rarely used by elderly patients due to a lack of acceptance.

Objective: We investigated the question "Which factors influence the acceptance of diabetes apps among patients aged 50 or older?" Particular emphasis was placed on the current use of mobile devices/apps, acceptance-promoting/-inhibiting factors, features of a helpful diabetes app, and contact persons for technical questions. This qualitative study was the third of three substudies investigating factors influencing acceptance of diabetes apps among patients aged 50 or older.

Methods: Guided interviews were chosen in order to get a comprehensive insight into the subjective perspective of elderly diabetes patients. At the end of each interview, the patients tested two existing diabetes apps to reveal obstacles in (first) use.

Results: Altogether, 32 patients with diabetes were interviewed. The mean age was 68.8 years (SD 8.2). Of 32 participants, 15 (47%) knew apps, however only 2 (6%) had already used a diabetes app within their therapy. The reasons reported for being against the use of apps were a lack of additional benefits (4/8, 50%) compared to current therapy management, a lack of interoperability with other devices/apps (1/8, 12%), and no joy of use (1/8, 12%). The app test revealed the following main difficulties in use: nonintuitive understanding of the functionality of the apps (26/29, 90%), nonintuitive understanding of the menu navigation/labeling (19/29, 66%), font sizes and representations that were too small (14/29, 48%), and difficulties in recognizing and pressing touch-sensitive areas (14/29, 48%). Furthermore, the patients felt the apps lacked individually important functions (11/29, 38%), or felt the functions that were offered were unnecessary for their own therapy needs (10/29, 34%). The most important contents of a helpful diabetes app were reported as the ability to add remarks to measured values (9/28, 32%), the definition of thresholds for blood glucose values and highlighting deviating values (7/28, 25%), and a reminder feature for measurement/medication (7/28, 25%). The most important contact persons for technical questions were family members (19/31, 61%).

Conclusions: A lack of additional benefits and ease of use emerged as the key factors for the acceptance of diabetes apps among patients aged 50 or older. Furthermore, it has been shown that the needs of the investigated target group are highly heterogeneous due to varying previous knowledge, age, type of diabetes, and therapy. Therefore, a helpful diabetes app should be individually adaptable. Personal contact persons, especially during the initial phase of use, are of utmost importance to reduce the fear of data loss or erroneous data input, and to raise acceptance among this target group.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus