Development and Local Contextualization of Mobile Health Messages for Enhancing Disease Management Among Community-Dwelling Stroke Patients in Rural China: Multimethod Study.
BACKGROUND:Rural China has experienced an increasing health burden because of stroke. Stroke patients in rural communities have relatively poor awareness of and adherence to evidence-based secondary prevention and self-management of stroke. Mobile technology represents an innovative way to influence patient behaviors and improve their self-management. OBJECTIVE:This study is part of the System-Integrated Technology-Enabled Model of Care (the SINEMA trial) to improve the health of stroke patients in resource-poor settings in China. This study aimed to develop and pilot-test a mobile phone message-based package, as a component of the SINEMA intervention. METHODS:The SINEMA trial was conducted in Nanhe County, Hebei Province, China. A total of 4 villages were selected for pretrial contextual research and pilot study. The 5 stages for developing the mobile phone messages were as follows: (1) conducting literature review on existing message banks and analyzing the characteristics of these banks; (2) interviewing stroke patients and caregivers to identify their needs; (3) drafting message contents and designing dispatching algorithms for a 3-month pilot testing; (4) collecting feedback from pilot participants through questionnaire survey and in-depth interviews on facilitators and barriers related to their acceptance and understanding of messages; and (5) finalizing the message-based intervention based on participants' feedback for the SINEMA trial. RESULTS:On the basis of 5 existing message banks screened out of 120 papers and patients' needs identified from 32 in-depth interviews among stroke patients and caregivers, we developed a message bank containing 224 messages for a pilot study among 54 community-dwelling stroke patients from 4 villages. Of 54 participants, 51 (response rate: 94.4%) completed the feedback survey after receiving daily messages for 3 months. Participants' mean age was 68 years (SD 9.2), and about half had never been to school. We observed a higher proportion of participants who were in favor of voice messages (23/42, 54%) than text messages (14/40, 35%). Among participants who received voice messages (n=43) and text messages (n=40), 41 and 30, respectively, self-reported a full or partial understanding of the contents, and 39 (39/43, 91%) and 32 (32/40, 80%), respectively, rated the messages as helpful. Analyses of the 32 interviews further revealed that voice messages containing simple and single-theme content, in plain language, with a repeated structure, a slow playback speed, and recorded in local dialect, were preferred by rural stroke patients. In addition, the dispatching algorithm and tools may also influence the acceptance of message-based interventions. CONCLUSIONS:By applying multiple methodologies and conducting a pilot study, we designed and fine-tuned a voice message-based intervention package for promoting secondary prevention among community-dwelling stroke patients in rural China. Design of the content and dispatching algorithm should engage both experts and end users and adequately consider the needs and preferences of recipients.
Gong, E; Gu, W; Luo, E; Tan, L; Donovan, J; Sun, C; Yang, Y; Zang, L; Bao, P; Yan, LL
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