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Time to change the paradigm? A mixed method study of the preferred and potential features of an asthma self-management app

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Original languageEnglish
JournalHealth Informatics Journal
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2019


We explored the potential of asthma apps to support self-management and identified preferred features that enable users to live with asthma. We recruited patients from five UK practices and social media; observed their usage of our app, administered a questionnaire and interviewed a purposive sample of patients and professionals to explore preferred features. Thematic analysis of interview was synthesised with quantitative data. A total of 111 patients used our app for 3 months. We interviewed 15 patients and 16 professionals. Participants were interested in a broad range of self-management support strategies, including action plans, monitoring with feedback, allergy/weather warnings and tailor-made running coaching. Professionals wanted to integrate patients’ logs with practice records, though were concerned about data overload and risk of patient dependency. We propose a paradigm shift - from apps developed to provide features that are easy to implement technologically, to an approach in which apps are designed to deliver theoretically grounded preferred components.

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