Views on the features of an ‘app’ to support asthma self-management among Malaysian adults with limited health literacy: a feasibility study

05 May 2022
Respiratory conditions
  • Asthma
Respiratory topics
  • Disease management
Type of resource
Malaga 2022
Sazlina Shariff Ghazali, Universiti Putra Malaysia
Clinical Research Results Abstract Introduction: Mobile applications (apps) as a medium to support asthma self-management are more likely to appeal to people living with asthma if they include features that the users value. We aimed to assess the feasibility of using the features of a pictorial asthma action plan delivered through an app for adults with asthma and limited health literacy. Methods: The mixed-method pre-post feasibility study recruited 37 adults from the Klang Asthma Cohort in the Klang District, Malaysia with physician-diagnosed asthma on inhaled corticosteroids and with limited health literacy (using the Malay version of the Health Literacy Scale-Q47 (HLS)). Of these, participants were purposively sampled for in-depth interviews. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analysed deductively.Results: Twelve participants (Female n=8; mean age=51; mean HLS score=26) provided interviews. Views about the mobile app components were generally positive. All interviewees found the app beneficial to them; most liked the self-monitoring features (i.e. logging of symptoms), reminder to take preventer medication and the visual components of the app (i.e. pictorial asthma action plan). However, some felt that they could already manage their asthma and perceived that asthma action plans were for people with poor asthma control or newly diagnosed. Recommendations for improvement reflected the technical challenges participants faced in using the mobile app. (i.e., lack of app ability to take multiple entries for medication and symptoms).Conclusion: A mobile app tailored to people with limited health literacy has the potential to support asthma self-management. Refining the app based on the preferred features of users may enhance the adoption of intervention. However, care must be taken to balance patients’ preferences and evidence-based components to provide an app that is both acceptable and potentially able to improve health outcomes. Research Idea Abstract Service Development & Evaluation Abstract Declaration of Interest This research was commissioned by the UK NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Respiratory Health (RESPIRE), using UK Aid from the UK Government to support global health research. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the UK Department of Health and Social Care. References and Clinical Trial Registry Information