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What Kind Of A Mobile Health App Do Patients Truly Want? A Pilot Study Among Ambulatory Surgery Patients

Authors Tang MY, Li ZC, Dai Y, Li XL

Received 20 June 2019

Accepted for publication 16 October 2019

Published 4 December 2019 Volume 2019:13 Pages 2039—2046

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S220207

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Naifeng Liu


Meng-Yan Tang, Zhi-Chao Li, Yan Dai, Xiao-Ling Li

Ambulatory Surgery Center, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, ChengDu, SiChuan 610041, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Xiao-Ling Li
School of Nursing, Sichuan University, Guoxue Alley No.37, Wuhou District, ChengDu, SiChuan 610041, People’s Republic of China
Tel +86-15828231215
Email janifer81823@163.com

Background: An increasing number of surgeries are performed as ambulatory surgeries, and mobile health applications (m-health apps) have therefore been designed to help provide patients with more convenient health-care services and improve the working efficiency of health-care professionals (HCPs). To find an effective approach to design such m-health apps, a study to evaluate ambulatory surgery patients’ preferences is necessary.
Methods: A structured questionnaire was distributed to 360 patients undergoing ambulatory surgery to understand their demographic characteristics, preferences regarding the features and functions of m-health apps and willingness to engage with m-health apps.
Results: In total, 84.16% of ambulatory surgery patients stated that they would be willing to engage with an m-health app during the perioperative period. In addition, their top 10 necessary features and functions of m-health apps were related mainly to ambulatory surgery and communication with HCPs. Furthermore, younger age (χ2=10.42, p<0.01), employment (χ2=9.04, p<0.01), higher education (χ2=13.67, p<0.01), longer daily use of phones (χ2=11.84, p<0.01) and more frequent usage of m-health apps (χ2=23.23, p<0.01) were associated with patients’ willingness to engage with m-health apps, but only more frequent usage of m-health apps (OR=2.97, 95% CI=1.54–5.71, p<0.01) was found to be a predictor.
Conclusion: This study presents an initial evaluation of ambulatory surgery patients’ preferences regarding m-health apps. Gaining these insights will be useful to help us design an evidence-based, highly functional m-health app that best meets the needs of patients undergoing ambulatory surgery.

Keywords: mobile health applications, ambulatory surgery, preferences


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