Leveraging Community Engagement to Develop a Mobile Health Application for Older Women With HIV Infection

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Objective:To develop a mobile health app for older women with HIV infection that will be used in a larger study.Design:A qualitative study design.Setting:Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area clinics and communities.Participants:Ten women 50 years and older (mean age = 62.8 years, standard deviation = 3.62, range = 58–69 years) who self-identified as Black or African American and were infected with HIV.Methods:At the start of the study, we used relevant empirical and the self-determination theory to inform the draft Web-based app content that was shared with two focus groups. Data were analyzed with input from a community advisory board (CAB) to inform the development of the mobile health app.Results:We inductively identified eight subthemes within the coding structure of two overall themes: Navigating Content, Functions, and Features and Enhancing Provider Interaction With Patients that represented the perspectives of participants regarding the app. From the eight subthemes, we integrated the contributions from the CAB, which we then used to further optimize the app.Conclusion:The app was designed to provide support, tools, and resources for older women with HIV. Engagement of community collaborators could be challenging because of multiple personal and structural barriers. Nonetheless, the potential community member benefits are invaluable. If successful, the Web-based app could be a model to address the needs of older persons with HIV infection.

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