Creating a smartphone app for caregivers of children with atopic dermatitis with caregivers, healthcare professionals and digital health experts: Participatory co-design (Preprint)
JMIR mHealth and uHealth
Smartphone apps could support patients and caregivers in disease self-management. However, as patients' experiences and needs might not always align with clinical judgments, the eliciting and engaging of perspectives of all stakeholders in the smartphone app design process is of paramount importance. The aims of this study are to better understand the needs of and challenges facing caregivers and health care professionals (HCPs) who care for children with atopic dermatitis (AD) and to explore
... e desirable features and content of a smartphone app that would support AD self-management. This study adopted a qualitative participatory co-design methodology involving 3 focus group discussions: workshop one focused on caregivers; workshop two engaged with HCPs; and in the last workshop, caregivers and digital health experts were asked to design the wireframe prototype. The participants completed a sociodemographic questionnaire, a technology acceptance questionnaire, and a workshop evaluation form. Twelve caregivers participated in the first workshop, and 10 HCPs participated in the second workshop. Eight caregivers and 4 digital health experts attended the third workshop. Three superordinate themes that reflected caregivers' and HCPs' challenges and needs were identified: empowerment by education, confusion over treatment, and emotional impact. Workshop participants also raised a series of suggestions on the features and contents of the AD self-management app, which informed the last co-design workshop, and described their needs and challenges. In the last workshop, the participants developed a wireframe prototype of the app following the identified requirements and recommendations. The co-design approach was found to be a successful way of engaging with the participants, as it allowed them to express their creativity and helped us to articulate the root of the clinical problems. The co-design workshop was successful in creating and generating new ideas and solutions for smartphone app development.