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 (PBMT) patients experience significant symptom distress, and the use of mobile health (mHealth) technologies may enhance symptom management by providing patient-generated health data to foster personalized health strategies.ObjectivesThe aim of this study was to present a study protocol to explore feasibility, acceptability, and usability of integrating mHealth technologies to collect and monitor symptom data for PBMT patients.MethodsAn exploratory mixed-methods design is employed for 20 PBMT patients to monitor symptoms using real-time data from two mHealth devices: (a) a self-developed mHealth application and (b) a wearable tracking device. Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System surveys 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. Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System 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 posttransplant 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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