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      Key methodological considerations for usability testing of electronic patient-reported outcome (ePRO) systems

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          Abstract

          Introduction

          Recent advances in information technology and improved access to the internet have led to a rapid increase in the adoption and ownership of electronic devices such as touch screen smartphones and tablet computers. This has also led to a renewed interest in the field of digital health also referred to as telehealth or electronic health (eHealth). There is now a drive to collect these PROs electronically using ePRO systems.

          Method

          However, the user interfaces of ePRO systems need to be adequately assessed to ensure they are not only fit for purpose but also acceptable to patients who are the end users. Usability testing is a technique that involves the testing of systems, products or websites with participants drawn from the target population. Usability testing can assist ePRO developers in the evaluation of ePRO user interface. The complexity of ePRO systems; stage of development; metrics to measure; and the use of scenarios, moderators and appropriate sample sizes are key methodological issues to consider when planning usability tests.

          Conclusion

          The findings from usability testing may facilitate the improvement of ePRO systems making them more usable and acceptable to end users. This may in turn improve the adoption of ePRO systems post-implementation. This article highlights the key methodological issues to consider and address when planning usability testing of ePRO systems.

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          Most cited references33

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          Empirical Evaluation of the Revised Technology Acceptance Model

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            Retrospective vs. concurrent think-aloud protocols: Testing the usability of an online library catalogue

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              AmbuFlex: tele-patient-reported outcomes (telePRO) as the basis for follow-up in chronic and malignant diseases

              Purpose A tele-patient-reported outcome (telePRO) model includes outpatients’ reports of symptoms and health status from home before or instead of visiting the outpatient clinic. In the generic PRO system, AmbuFlex, telePRO is used to decide whether a patient needs an outpatient visit and is thus a tool for better symptom assessment, more patient-centred care, and more efficient use of resources. Specific PROs are developed for each patient group. In this paper we describe our experiences with large-scale implementations of telePRO as the basis for follow-up in chronic and malignant diseases using the generic PRO system AmbuFlex. Methods The AmbuFlex concept consists of three generic elements: PRO data collection, PRO-based automated decision algorithm, and PRO-based graphical overview for clinical decision support. Experiences were described with respect to these elements. Results By December 2015, AmbuFlex was implemented in nine diagnostic groups in Denmark. A total of 13,135 outpatients from 15 clinics have been individually referred. From epilepsy clinics, about 70 % of all their outpatients were referred. The response rates for the initial questionnaire were 81–98 %. Of 8256 telePRO-based contacts from epilepsy outpatients, up to 48 % were handled without other contact than the PRO assessment. Clinicians as well as patients reported high satisfaction with the system. Conclusion The results indicate that telePRO is feasible and may be recommended as the platform for follow-up in several patient groups with chronic and malignant diseases and with many consecutive outpatient contacts.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                O.L.Aiyegbusi@bham.ac.uk
                Journal
                Qual Life Res
                Qual Life Res
                Quality of Life Research
                Springer International Publishing (Cham )
                0962-9343
                1573-2649
                18 October 2019
                18 October 2019
                2020
                : 29
                : 2
                : 325-333
                Affiliations
                GRID grid.6572.6, ISNI 0000 0004 1936 7486, Centre for Patient Reported Outcome Research, Institute of Applied Health Research, , University of Birmingham, ; Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT UK
                Article
                2329
                10.1007/s11136-019-02329-z
                6994506
                31691202
                9cc192b6-c660-40e2-a513-4ce55bd5f25d
                © The Author(s) 2019

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

                Funding
                Funded by: Health Foundation
                Award ID: 7452
                Award Recipient :
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                © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

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