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Designing and Testing a Web-Based Interface for Self-monitoring of Exercise and Symptoms for Older Adults With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease


CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing: May-June 2009 - Volume 27 - Issue 3 - p 166-174
doi: 10.1097/NCN.0b013e31819f7c1d
Feature Article

The use of information and communication technologies to support collaborative management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and associated symptoms is particularly appealing since most people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease continue to experience dyspnea despite optimal medical therapy and therefore must engage in the long-term tasks of self-management. Exercise is an effective therapy to reduce dyspnea in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The purpose of this article was to describe our process of developing a set of integrated tools to support collaborative symptom and exercise monitoring for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This process could be followed by other researchers and clinicians interested in developing collaborative management tools for other chronic conditions. User-centered design principles guided the 4-phase development process of a set of integrated tools for self-symptom management. The usability challenges uncovered during the field testing were mostly minor and were easily corrected. Patients had a strong preference for a calendar-like display of completed exercise coupled with simultaneous goal viewing. Field usability testing showed that the integrated set of tools was relatively easy to learn, efficient to use, and with minimal errors and has a high level of user satisfaction. An iterative, multimodal process is essential to successful development of acceptable Web-based tools for self-management in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Author Affiliation: Department of Neurology (Dr Johnston); and Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems (Drs Nguyen and Wolpin), University of Washington, Seattle.

This work was supported by the Biomedical and Health Informatics Training Program to Dr Johnston (5 T15 LM007442-05) and NIH Roadmap for Medical Research to Dr Nguyen (5 K12 RR023265-03).

Corresponding author: Sandra K. Johnston, PhD, RN, Department of Neurology, University of Washington, 1959 NE Pacific St, Box 356465, Seattle, WA 98195 (

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.