A German Smartphone-Based Self-management Tool for Psoriasis: Community-Driven Development and Evaluation of Quality-of-Life Effects

Lea Christine Brandl*, Monika Pobiruchin, Wendelin Schramm, Claudia Liebram

*Korrespondierende/r Autor/-in für diese Arbeit


Background: Psoriasis is a chronic disease characterized by inflammation, increased scaling, itching, and other symptoms. Psoriasis is not contagious, but patients have often felt shunned. Therefore, in addition to psoriasis symptoms, stress, anxiety, and depression can also affect quality of life (QoL). Surveys show that only a quarter of patients are satisfied with the success of their therapy. However, in addition to medical therapy, self-management can also make it easier to deal with chronic diseases like psoriasis. Objective: The aim of this project was to develop a smartphone-based self-management tool (SMT) specifically for patients with psoriasis using a community-driven process. The impact of the SMT on QoL as well as its acceptance and usability were evaluated. Methods: In collaboration with an internet-based self-help community, 2 user surveys were conducted to determine the requirements for a smartphone-based SMT. The surveys consisted of semistructured questionnaires asking for desired features in an SMT for psoriasis. A pilot study was conducted to evaluate QoL, acceptance, and usability. Community users were recruited to use the app for 21 days and complete the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) questionnaire at the beginning (T 0) and end (T 1). Afterward, participants were asked to complete another questionnaire on usability and ease of use. Results: SMT requirements were collected from 97 members of an internet-based community. The SMT was built as a progressive web app that communicates with a server back end and an Angular web app for content management. The app was used by 15 participants who also provided qualitative feedback, and 10 participants answered all questionnaires. The average DLQI score was 7.1 (SD 6.2) at T 0 and 6.9 (SD 6.6) at T 1. The minimal required sample size of 27 was not reached. Conclusions: The high degree of community participation in the development process and the responses during the requirement engineering process indicated that there is a general need for an independently developed SMT for patients with psoriasis. However, the feedback received after app use shows that the SMT does not meet the needs of the community. It can be concluded that a more customizable app is needed. The focus and needs of the users were very heterogeneous. Similar developments and research could benefit from the findings of this project.

ZeitschriftJMIR Formative Research
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 07.07.2022


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