Feasibility and acceptability of smartphone applications for seizure self-management in China: Questionnaire study among people with epilepsy.

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Publication Date: 
Feb 08, 2016

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this report was to assess the feasibility and acceptability of using smartphone apps for seizure self-management in China.

METHODS: All patients with epilepsy were consecutively recruited from the Neurology Epilepsy Prevention and Cure Center of West China Hospital from January 2015 to June 2015. Data on patients' clinical characteristics, mobile phone utilization habits, preferences for contents of apps for seizure self-management, medication adherence, and attitudes toward the use of smartphone apps were collected from 502 patients with epilepsy by questionnaire.

RESULTS: Among 502 participants, 96.8% had their own mobile phones, and 94.4% owned a smartphone. Although only 9.5% (48/502) of participants had prior knowledge of apps for managing chronic illness, 66.7% (335/502) of participants reported that managing their seizure through an app would be useful. Sixty-five point five percent of participants reported that they would use a smartphone app for seizure self-management if it were free. Patients who were more likely to use an app were those with a low Morisky Scale score (patients with poor medicine adherence), young patients, patients who lived in cities, and patients with frequent seizures (P<0.001, P=0.002, P<0.001, P=0.01). Patients with higher education and with stable employment were also more likely to use an app (P=0.001, P<0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study on the feasibility and acceptability of smartphone apps for seizure self-management in China. The findings of this study indicate that there is a positive attitude toward using epilepsy apps among patients with epilepsy. Based on patients' positive attitudes toward using epilepsy apps and the current development of mobile health in China, the use of smartphone apps could be a promising strategy for seizure self-management.