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Medical device design for adolescent adherence and developmental goals: a case study of a cystic fibrosis physiotherapy device

Authors Lang A, Martin J, Sharples S, Crowe J

Received 19 December 2013

Accepted for publication 7 January 2014

Published 17 March 2014 Volume 2014:8 Pages 301—309


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Alexandra R Lang,1 Jennifer L Martin,2 Sarah Sharples,1 John A Crowe3

1Human Factors Research Group, Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK; 2Mindtech Healthcare Technology Cooperative (Htc), Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Institute of Mental Health, Nottingham, UK; 3Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham, UK

Purpose: This study investigates the psychosocial aspects of adolescent medical device use and the impact on adolescent adherence and goals for the transitional years between child and adulthood.
Patients and methods: Interviews were carried out with 20 adolescents with cystic fibrosis, investigating adolescent medical device use and experiences in relation to their personal and social lives and development through the adolescent years. The qualitative dataset was thematically examined using a content analysis method.
Results: The results show that adolescent users of medical technologies want their independence and capabilities to be respected. Adolescent adherence to medical device use was associated with short- and long-term motivations, where older adolescents were able to comprehend the longer-term benefits of use against short-term inconvenience more acutely than younger adolescents. It was suggested that medical devices could provide a tool for communication with families and clinicians and could support adolescents as they take responsibility for managing their condition. Themes of “fitting into teenage life” and “use in the community” were associated with adolescents' needs to form their own identity and have autonomy.
Conclusion: This study shows that adolescent needs regarding medical device use are complex. It provides evidence to suggest that devices designed inclusively for adolescents may lead to improved adherence and also facilitate transition through the adolescent years and achievement of adolescent goals.

Keywords: young people, teenagers, technologies, compliance, transition, user requirements

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