University of Twente Student Theses


RehaBuddy : Development and evaluation of a mobile technology to support a patient-centered goal-setting process in physiotherapy

Lüdeke, Tjard (2023) RehaBuddy : Development and evaluation of a mobile technology to support a patient-centered goal-setting process in physiotherapy.

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Abstract:In physiotherapy, goal-setting is an essential component of the therapy. Ideally, this process is patient-centered, which increases treatment outcomes and adherence to the home exercise plan. In practice, however, patients are far less involved in goal-setting than clinical guidelines and evidence advise. Mobile technology might be a promising solution as it can provide a structure that employs a patient-centered approach. Thus, this thesis investigates how mobile technology can facilitate a patient-centered goal-setting process in physiotherapy. Throughout the work, a Research through Design approach is taken. A literature review and a formative survey lay the foundation of this work. Then, the Behavior Change Wheel is used as a theoretical framework to develop an initial interaction concept that guides patients through a decision-tree- like process to identify and set SMART activity-based treatment goals. This concept was translated to a low-fidelity wireframe and then evaluated and improved in two iterations. The final wireframe was then developed towards a mid-fidelity mobile app, which got evaluated by a patient-user test, two expert interviews, and an assignment for a class of physiotherapy students. The results show there are multiple potential roles for such technology. First, it can act as a foundation for discussion to align the expectations of the patient and therapist concerning realistic healing times. Second, it can be a motivator to consistently do the exercises for the patient throughout the therapy. The user tests showed promising first results concerning attitude towards the technology and the degree to which patients are involved during the goal-setting process. Furthermore, comparing the results from the formative study and the evaluation of the app, the goals set by patients with the technology were more timely and measurable than those set traditionally, representing two important components of a SMART goal. Overall, the results obtained were mostly positive. However, with 5-10 people, the low number of participants per research method and the non-representative sample limit the generalizability. Moreover, this study could not assess the effects of using such technology on adherence, treatment adherence, and patient involvement during therapy. Future research could investigate these effects by conducting a longer-term study.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:54 computer science
Programme:Interaction Technology MSc (60030)
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