Accepted for/Published in: Journal of Medical Internet Research
Date Submitted: Jun 14, 2018
Open Peer Review Period: Jun 16, 2018 - Aug 11, 2018
Date Accepted: Dec 12, 2018
(closed for review but you can still tweet)
Enabling my independence â€“ usersâ€™ experiences of an app-based treatment for stress urinary incontinence
Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) affects 10â€“39% of women. First-line treatment consists of lifestyle interventions and pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT), which can be performed supervised or unsupervised. Health apps are increasing in number and can be used to improve adherence to treatments. We developed the TÃ¤tÂ® app, which provides a 3-month treatment program with a focus on PFMT for women with SUI. The app treatment was evaluated in a randomized controlled trial (RCT), which demonstrated efficacy regarding incontinence symptoms and quality of life. In this qualitative interview study, we investigated participant experiences of the app-based treatment.
To explore womenâ€™s experiences of using an app-based treatment program for SUI.
A qualitative study based on telephone interviews with 15 selected women, with a mean age of 47, who had used the app in the previous RCT. A semi-structured interview guide with open-ended questions was used, and the interviews were transcribed verbatim. Data were analyzed according to Grounded Theory.
The results were grouped into three categories: â€œSomething new!â€, â€œKeeping motivation up!â€, and â€œGood enough?â€ A core category, â€œEnabling my independenceâ€, was identified. The participants appreciated having a new and modern way to access a treatment program for SUI. The use of new technology seemed to make incontinence treatment feel more prioritized and less embarrassing. The closeness to their smartphone and app features like reminders and visual graphs helped to support and motivate the women to carry through the PFMT. The participants felt confident that they could perform the treatment program on their own, even though they expressed some uncertainty about whether they were doing the pelvic floor muscle contractions correctly. They experienced that the app-based treatment increased their self-confidence and enabled them to take responsibility for their treatment.
Using the app-based treatment program for SUI empowered the women and helped them self-manage their incontinence treatment. They appreciated the app as a new tool supporting their motivation to carry through a somewhat challenging PFMT program.
Note: Per the author's request, the preprint files are not publicly accessible.
© The authors. All rights reserved. This is a privileged document currently under peer-review/community review (or an accepted/rejected manuscript). Authors have provided JMIR Publications with an exclusive license to publish this preprint on it's website for review and ahead-of-print citation purposes only. While the final peer-reviewed paper may be licensed under a cc-by license on publication, at this stage authors and publisher expressively prohibit redistribution of this draft paper other than for review purposes.