Feasibility and Acceptability of a Digital Patient-Reported Outcome Tool in Routine Outpatient Diabetes Care: Mixed Methods Formative Pilot Study

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BACKGROUND: Improvements in the digital capabilities of health systems provide new opportunities for the integration of patient-reported outcome (PRO) solutions in routine care, which can facilitate the delivery of person-centered diabetes care. We undertook this study as part of our development of a new digital PRO diabetes questionnaire and clinical dialog support tool for use by people with diabetes and their health care professionals (HCPs) to improve person-centered diabetes care quality and outcomes.

OBJECTIVE: This study evaluates the feasibility, acceptability, and perceived benefits and impacts of using a digital PRO diabetes tool, DiaProfil, in routine outpatient diabetes care.

METHODS: Overall, 12 people with diabetes scheduled for routine medical diabetes visits at the outpatient clinic were recruited. Purposive sampling was used to optimize heterogeneity regarding age, gender, duration, type of diabetes, treatment modality, and disease severity. Participants filled out a PRO diabetes questionnaire 2 to 5 days before their visit. During the visit, HCPs used a digital PRO tool to review PRO data with the person with diabetes for collaborative care planning. Participants completed evaluation forms before and after the visit and were interviewed for 30 to 45 minutes after the visit. HCPs completed the evaluation questionnaires after each visit. All visits were audio-recorded and transcribed for analysis. Data were analyzed using quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods analyses.

RESULTS: People with diabetes found the PRO diabetes questionnaire to be relevant, acceptable, and feasible to complete from home. People with diabetes and HCPs found the digital PRO tool to be feasible and acceptable for use during the diabetes visit and would like to continue using it. HCPs were able to use the tool in a person-centered manner, as intended. For several people with diabetes, completion of the questionnaire facilitated positive reflection and better preparation for the visit. The use of the PRO tool primarily improved the quality of the dialog by improving the identification and focus on the issues most important to the person with diabetes. People with diabetes did not report any negative aspects of the PRO tool, whereas HCPs highlighted that it was demanding when the person with diabetes had many PRO issues that required attention within the predefined time allocated for a visit.

CONCLUSIONS: The Danish PRO diabetes questionnaire and the digital tool, DiaProfil, are feasible and acceptable solutions for routine diabetes visits, and this tool may generate important benefits related to advancement of person-centered care. Further research is now required to corroborate and expand these formative insights on a larger scale and in diverse health care settings. The results of this study are therefore being used to define research hypotheses and finalize real-world PRO evaluation tools for a forthcoming large-scale multisector implementation study in Denmark.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere28329
JournalJMIR formative research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

©Soren E Skovlund, Lise Havbæk Troelsen, Lise Mellergaard Noergaard, Anna Pietraszek, Poul Erik Jakobsen, Niels Ejskjaer. Originally published in JMIR Formative Research (https://formative.jmir.org), 03.11.2021.


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