Rationale and Design of a Novel Method to Assess the Usability of Body-Worn Absorbent Incontinence Care Products by Caregivers

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Abstract

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this study was to develop and test a new method to measure the usability of absorbent incontinence care products from the caregivers' perspective and to investigate if the method can be used to differentiate between product types in a product change.

DESIGN:

Process evaluation and validation study.

SUBJECTS AND SETTING:

Product developers and end users participated in designing the new method. Thereafter, professional caregivers acted as testers of the new method, ranking usability when performing absorbent product changes on patients in a simulated nursing home care environment, assisted by third-party research institute moderators.

METHODS:

Design and evaluation of a new method designed to assess the usability of body-worn absorbent incontinence care products for lay caregivers were completed. The evaluation included formative and summative evaluations of effectiveness (product fit), efficiency (time and physical workload), and satisfaction. A person-centered approach aimed at including all subjects and settings to generate a single usability score for decision making and product benchmarking. Experienced caregivers changed 4 types of products: (1) disposable body-worn pads with mesh briefs (2-piece system); (2) disposable all-in-one briefs; (3) disposable, T-shaped, and belted brief; and (4) disposable pull-up pants on simulated patients in standing or lying position. Each product change was performed by 1 unassisted experienced caregiver. The probability of success as a score for each product type was calculated across the 4 metrics and reported with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Descriptive and inferential statistics were developed assuming a binary statistical model, using the weighted scores from each of the factors. An overall usability score was calculated.

RESULTS:

The method we developed discriminated between usability of different product types. The overall score for the disposable pull-up product (90%; CI: 83%-97%) was better (P < .05) than for the disposable T-shaped brief (83%; CI: 77%-89%), the disposable brief (53%; CI: 45%-61%), and the disposable body-worn pad with mesh pant (61%; CI: 56%-66%) in standing patients. For lying patients, the overall score for the disposable T-shaped brief product (81%; CI: 73%-89% was better (P < .05) than the disposable brief (65%; CI: 45%-61%) and the disposable body-worn pads with mesh brief (62%; CI: 55%-69%). Reliability was evaluated quantitatively in terms of measurement uncertainties in the results.

CONCLUSION:

The method we described demonstrated differentiation of usability based on product type indicating concurrent validity. Further testing in diverse real-world care environments is needed to evaluate and confirm the validity and to assess reliability of this method in the research setting.

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