Engaging across dimensions of diversity: A cross-national perspective on mHealth tools for managing relapsing remitting and progressive multiple sclerosis

Sara Katherine Simblett, Joanne Margaret Evans, Ben Greer, Hannah Margaret Curtis, Faith Alexandra Elisabeth Matcham, Marta Radaelli, Patricia Mulero, Maria Jesús Arévalo, Ashley Polhemus, Jose Ferrao, Peter Gamble, Giancarlo Comi, Til HM Wykes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
52 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background
Smartphone apps and wearable devices could augment clinical practice by detecting changes in health status for multiple sclerosis (MS). This study sought to investigate potential barriers and facilitators for uptake and sustained use in (i) people with both relapsing remitting MS (RRMS) and progressive MS (PMS) and (ii) across different countries.

Methods
Twenty four participants with MS took part in four focus groups held in three countries (2 in the UK, 1 in Spain, and 1 in Italy) to investigate potential barriers and facilitators for mHealth technology. A systematic thematic analysis was used to extract themes and sub-themes.

Results
Facilitators and barriers were organised into functional technology-related factors and non-functional health-related and user-related factors. Twelve themes captured all requirements across the three countries for both RRMS and PMS. Key requirements included accommodation for varying physical abilities, providing information and memory aids. Potential negative effects on mood and providing choice and control as part of overcoming practical challenges were identified.

Conclusions
We took a cross-national perspective and found many similarities between three European countries across people with RRMS and PMS. Future provision should accommodate the key requirements identified to engage people with MS in scalable mHealth interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-132
Number of pages10
JournalMultiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders
Volume32
Early online date16 Apr 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019

Keywords

  • Barriers and facilitators
  • Engagement
  • Mobile health
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • mHealth

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