Assessing the efficacy of an educational smartphone or tablet app with subdivided and interactive content to increase patients' medical knowledge: randomized controlled trial

Thomas Timmers, Loes Janssen, Yvette Pronk, Babette C. van der Zwaard, Sander Koëter, Dirk van Oostveen, Stefan de Boer, Keetie Kremers, Sebastiaan Rutten, Dirk Das, Rutger C.l. van Geenen, Koen LM Koenraadt, Rob Kusters, Walter van der Weegen

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Background: Modern health care focuses on shared decision making (SDM) because of its positive effects on patient satisfaction, therapy compliance, and outcomes. Patients’ knowledge about their illness and available treatment options, gained through medical education, is one of the key drivers for SDM. Current patient education relies heavily on medical consultation and is known to be ineffective. Objective: This study aimed to determine whether providing patients with information in a subdivided, categorized, and interactive manner via an educational app for smartphone or tablet might increase the knowledge of their illness. Methods: A surgeon-blinded randomized controlled trial was conducted with 213 patients who were referred to 1 of the 6 Dutch hospitals by their general practitioner owing to knee complaints that were indicative of knee osteoarthritis. An interactive app that, in addition to standard care, actively sends informative and pertinent content to patients about their illness on a daily basis by means of push notifications in the week before their consultation. The primary outcome was the level of perceived and actual knowledge that patients had about their knee complaints and the relevant treatment options after the intervention. Results: In total, 122 patients were enrolled in the control group and 91 in the intervention group. After the intervention, the level of actual knowledge (measured on a 0-36 scale) was 52% higher in the app group (26.4 vs 17.4, P<.001). Moreover, within the app group, the level of perceived knowledge (measured on a 0-25 scale) increased by 22% during the week within the app group (from 13.5 to 16.5, P<.001), compared with no gain in the control group. Conclusions: Actively offering patients information in a subdivided (per day), categorized (per theme), and interactive (video and quiz questions) manner significantly increases the level of perceived knowledge and demonstrates a higher level of actual knowledge, compared with standard care educational practices Trial Registration: International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number ISRCTN98629372; http://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN98629372 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/73F5trZbb).

Originele taal-2Engels
Artikelnummere10742
Aantal pagina's14
TijdschriftJMIR Mhealth and Uhealth
Volume6
Nummer van het tijdschrift12
DOI's
StatusGepubliceerd - 21 dec 2018

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