Mobile Support for Older Adults and Their Caregivers: Dyad Usability Study.
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AbstractBackground: Evaluation of digital health applications to support older adults' independence and family caregiving is needed. Digital health is increasingly providing opportunities for older adults and their family caregivers to educate, engage, and share health information across digital platforms. Few apps have documented evidence of usability by older adults and their caregivers. Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the usability of a mobile app in a community-based older adult population aged ≥65 years. The app was designed to improve engagement of the patient-informal caregiver team. Methods: This observational usability study was conducted in participants' homes and independent living facilities in Baltimore, Maryland. Community-dwelling older adults aged ≥65 years and their caregivers enrolled as a dyad (n=24, 12 dyads). The usability evaluation was a mobile and Web-based app that allowed older adult users to record social and health information and share this information with their caregivers. The older adult-caregiver dyad downloaded the app to a smart phone or accessed the Web version, participated in training and onboarding, and used the app for a 1-month period. Participants responded to weekly surveys sent by app push notifications and to the usability and satisfaction surveys at the end of the study. Participant satisfaction and usability were assessed using the Modified Mobile Application Rating Scale (M-MARS) and the System Usability Scale (SUS). Results: The final sample comprised 16 people (8 dyads). Responses to the M-MARS were comparable between older adults and caregiver respondents in terms of engagement and functionality. Caregivers rated aesthetics slightly higher (mean 3.7) than older adult participants did (mean 3.3). Although most responses to the SUS were around the mean (2.3-3.4), older adults and their caregivers differed with regard to integration of app features (mean 3.7 vs 2.8) and the need to learn more before using the app (mean 2.3 vs 3.1). Conclusions: Technology ownership and use among older adults and caregivers was high. Usability and engagement of the mobile app was average. Additional training is recommended for older adults and their caregivers, including that on targeted behaviors for digital health record keeping.
Rights/Terms©Charlene C Quinn, Sheila Staub, Erik Barr, Ann Gruber-Baldini. Originally published in JMIR Aging (http://aging.jmir.org), 23.05.2019.
Identifier to cite or link to this itemhttp://hdl.handle.net/10713/14167
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