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Feasibility of Using Mobile Health to Promote Self-Management in Spina Bifida

Dicianno, Brad E. MD; Fairman, Andrea D. PhD, OTR/L, CPRP; McCue, Michael PhD; Parmanto, Bambang PhD; Yih, Erika BS; McCoy, Andrew BS; Pramana, Gede MS; Yu, Daihua X. PhD; McClelland, Justin MS; Collins, Diane M. PhD, OT; Brienza, David M. PhD

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: June 2016 - Volume 95 - Issue 6 - p 425–437
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000000400
Original Research Articles

Objective: To determine feasibility of using the interactive Mobile Health and Rehabilitation (iMHere) system in spina bifida and its effects on psychosocial and medical outcomes.

Design: In a randomized controlled trial, 13 intervention participants using the iMHere system and receiving usual care and 10 control participants receiving usual care were followed for 1 year.

Results: Feasibility of use of the system was demonstrated by participants using a customized smartphone system for reminders to conduct various self-care tasks, upload photos of wounds, manage medications, complete mood surveys, and for secure messaging. High usage of the system was associated with positive changes in the subscales of the Adolescent Self-Management and Independence Scale II.

Conclusion: Use of the iMHere system in spina bifida is feasible and was associated with short-term self-reported improvements in self-management skill. This system holds promise for use in many diverse chronic care models to support and increase self-management skills.

From the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (BED); MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston, Massachusetts (ADF); Departments of Rehabilitation Science and Technology (MM), and Health Information Management and Biomedical Informatics (BP), University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (EY); Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (AM); Department of Health Information Management, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (GP, DXY, JM); Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas (DMC); and Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (DMB).

All correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to: Brad E. Dicianno, MD, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Human Engineering Research Laboratories, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 6425 Penn Ave, Suite 400, Pittsburgh, PA 15206.

This manuscript has not been published and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. Data from this manuscript were accepted as part of an abstract and were presented at the AAP 2015 Annual Assembly. Drs. Dicianno, Parmanto, McCue, Brienza, and Yu, and Mr. Pramana are all inventors of the iMHere system with no other financial interests in this technology. Dr. Fairman is an inventor of iMHere and also is CEO of UbiCue, Inc, which is a startup company that has licensed iMHere from the University of Pittsburgh. This study was funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) grant 90DP5004-01-00 (RERC from Cloud to Smartphone: Empowering and Accessible ICT), grant 0DP0064-01-00 (DRRP Promoting Independence & Self-management using mHealth), and grant 90RE5004-01-00 (RERC on Telerehabilitation), the Verizon Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants 1R21HD071810-01A1 and 5T35AT005933-02. Financial disclosure statements have been obtained, and no conflicts of interest have been reported by the authors or by any individuals in control of the content of this article.

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