User Experiences and Preferences Regarding an App for the Treatment of Urinary Incontinence in Adult Women: Qualitative Study

Nienke J. Wessels*, Lisa Hulshof, Anne M.M. Loohuis, Lisette van Gemert-Pijnen, Petra Jellema, Henk van der Worp, Marco H. Blanker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Although several apps are available to support the treatment of urinary incontinence (UI), little has been reported about the experiences and preferences of their users. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to explore the experiences and preferences of women using a mobile app for the treatment of UI and to identify potential improvements to the app. We developed this app for three types of UI: stress UI, urgency UI, and mixed UI. METHODS: The participants in this qualitative study were women with self-reported stress UI, urgency UI, or mixed UI who used an app-based treatment to manage their condition for at least six weeks. Following the intervention, semistructured interviews were conducted to explore the participants' experiences and preferences regarding the app. All interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed separately by two researchers. RESULTS: Data saturation was reached after interviewing 9 women (aged 32-68 years) with stress UI (n=1, 11%), urgency UI (n=3, 33%), or mixed UI (n=5, 56%). Accessibility, awareness, usability, and adherence emerged as the main themes. On the one hand, participants appreciated that the app increased their accessibility to care, preserved their privacy, increased their awareness of therapeutic options, was easy to use and useful, and supported treatment adherence. On the other hand, some participants reported that they wanted more contact with a care provider, and others reported that using the app increased their awareness of symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: This qualitative study indicates that women appreciate app-based treatment for UI because it can lower barriers to treatment and increase both awareness and adherence to treatment. However, the app does not offer the ability of face-to-face contact and can lead to a greater focus on symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e17114
JournalJMIR mHealth and uHealth
Volume8
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2020

Keywords

  • ehealth
  • mobile applications
  • qualitative research
  • self-management

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