Usability of a mobile application to enhance clients’ engagement in community-based therapy

Mobile technology applications (apps) are increasingly being used in healthcare to remotely monitor health conditions and support health behaviour change. Apps may be a useful tool for occupational therapists to promote client-centeredness and to support self-management of chronic conditions. Occupational therapists can play a key role in facilitating self-management of daily activities by promoting the acquisition of knowledge, skills and confidence to find solutions to daily life challenges.

This study will evaluate and inform the ongoing development of a novel app, MyOTStride. The app is designed to promote client-centeredness and self-management through helping clients to set personally meaningful goals with their therapists and then develop, integrate, and track the strategies that they will use to achieve these goals. The app also serves to record patient reported outcomes including client satisfaction and confidence in their ability to achieve a goal.

We will conduct an initial usability evaluation of the app based on established standards for software and electronic device development, including how easy it is to learn to use, does it work as planned, and is it accessible and efficient to use. We will recruit therapists who work in diverse community-based practice settings and their clients to evaluate MyOTStride. Findings will guide the further development of MyOTStride. Once fully developed, MyOTStride may be a valuable tool that could be used in a wide range of practice settings to enhance client self-management of daily activities, to facilitate client-therapist communication, and to increase access to services for those in rural or remote areas.

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