A Protocol to Assess Feasibility, Acceptability, and Usability of Mobile Technology for Symptom Management in Pediatric Transplant Patients

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BackgroundPediatric blood and marrow transplant patients (PBMT) experience significant symptom distress, and the use of mobile health technologies may enhance symptom management by providing patient generated health data to foster personalized health strategies.ObjectivesTo present a study protocol to explore feasibility, acceptability and, usability of integrating mobile health technologies to collect and monitor symptom data for PBMT patients.MethodsAn exploratory mixed method design is employed for 20 PBMT patients to monitor symptoms using real-time data from two mobile health (mHealth) devices: 1) a self-developed mHealth application (app); and 2) a wearable tracking device. Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Information System surveys (PROMIS) for fatigue, pain, and sleep disturbance are obtained monthly. Interviews are conducted to obtain further feasibility and usability data.ResultsThe study began in October 2017, data collection should be completed in 2018. Feasibility and usability results to monitor and record symptom-related data daily via mobile devices will be reported. PROMIS surveys and interviews will further explore patients’ symptoms and experiences with the mobile devices.DiscussionThis study will be among the first to explore the feasibility, acceptability, and usability of integrating multiple mHealth technologies to obtain patient generated symptom data for the PBMT population. Results will enhance our understanding of how these data present, interact, and cluster together throughout the post-transplant period for these children and lead to symptom management strategies. Results will focus on a high-risk population that potentially stands to benefit from the use of mobile technologies.

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