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A qualitative study on the design and development of an mHealth app to facilitate communication with the Deaf community: perspective of community pharmacists

Authors Chong EYC, Palanisamy UD, Jacob SA

Received 28 August 2018

Accepted for publication 5 October 2018

Published 23 January 2019 Volume 2019:13 Pages 195—207

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S182516

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Ms Justinn Cochran

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen


Elizabeth Yie-Chuen Chong,1 Uma Devi Palanisamy,2 Sabrina Anne Jacob1,3

1School of Pharmacy, Monash University Malaysia, Jalan Lagoon Selatan, Sunway, Selangor, Malaysia; 2Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Monash University Malaysia, Jalan Lagoon Selatan, Sunway, Selangor, Malaysia; 3Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK

Purpose: This study prepares the groundwork on the potential design and development of a mobile health (mHealth) app that will be able to bridge the communication gap between pharmacists and patients who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHoH).
Patients and methods: A focus group discussion was conducted with 12 community pharmacists. Participants were recruited using snowball sampling. Audio-recordings were transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using a thematic approach.
Results: Three themes were apparent: 1) suggestions for app design and content, 2) perceived benefits of the app, and 3) potential challenges related to the app. Participants believed the app would be able to facilitate and improve communication, and hence relationship, between pharmacists and the DHoH. Potential challenges of the app were highlighted, such as the need for manpower to manage the app, and its cost to this group of economically disadvantaged people. There were also concerns about privacy and security.
Conclusions: This study allowed community pharmacists, one of the end-users of the app, to provide feedback on the contents and design of the app, which would allow them to provide pharmaceutical care services to patients who are DHoH, and better serve them. Potential benefits and challenges of the app were also identified. Undoubtedly, through the mHealth app, community pharmacists will be better equipped to serve and communicate with the DHoH, and this will hopefully translate to improved health outcomes in these patients.

Keywords: Deaf, community pharmacist, mHealth, pharmaceutical care, communication, qualitative

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