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A Digital Health Platform for Integrated and Proactive Patient-Centered Multimorbidity Self-management and Care (ProACT): Protocol for an Action Research Proof-of-Concept Trial

Dinsmore, John, Hannigan, Caoimhe, Smith, Suzanne, Murphy, Emma, Kuiper, Janneke M.L., O'Byrne, Emma, Galvin, Mary, Jacobs, An, Smitt, Myriam Sillevis, van Leeuwen, Cora, McAleer, Patricia, Tompkins, Lorraine, Brady, Anne-Marie, McCarron, Mary and Doyle, Julie (2021) A Digital Health Platform for Integrated and Proactive Patient-Centered Multimorbidity Self-management and Care (ProACT): Protocol for an Action Research Proof-of-Concept Trial. JMIR Research Protocols 2021, 10 (12). e22125. ISSN 1929-0748

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Multimorbidity is defined as the presence of two or more chronic diseases and associated comorbidities. There is a need to improve best practices around the provision of well-coordinated, person-centered care for persons with multimorbidities. Present health systems across the European Union (EU) focus on supporting a single-disease framework of care; the primary challenge is to create a patient-centric, integrated care ecosystem to understand and manage multimorbidity. ProACT is a large-scale project funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme, that involved the design, development, and evaluation of a digital health platform to improve and advance home-based integrated care, and supported self-management, for older adults (aged ≥65 years) living with multimorbidity.

This paper describes the trial implementation protocol of a proof-of-concept digital health platform (ProACT) in 2 EU member states (Ireland and Belgium) to support older persons with multimorbidities self-managing at home, supported by their care network (CN).

Research was conducted across 2 EU member states, Ireland and Belgium. A 12-month action research trial design, divided into 3 evaluation cycles and lasting 3 months each, with a reflective redesign and development phase of 1 month after cycles 1 and 2 was conducted. Participants were 120 (60/120, 50% in Ireland and 60/120, 50% in Belgium) older persons with multimorbidities diagnosed with two or more of the following chronic conditions: diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic heart failure, and cardiovascular diseases. With permission from persons with multimorbidities, members of their CN were invited to participate in the study. Persons with multimorbidities were provided with ProACT technologies (tablet, devices, or sensors) to support them in self-managing their conditions. CN members also received access to an app to remotely support their persons with multimorbidity. Qualitative and quantitative feedback and evaluation data from persons with multimorbidity and CN participants were collected across four time points: baseline (T1), at the end of each 3-month action research cycle (T2 and T3), and in a final posttrial interview (T4). Thematic analysis was used to analyze the qualitative interview data. Quantitative data were analyzed via platform use statistics (to assess engagement) and standardized questionnaires (using descriptive and inferential statistics). This study is approved by the ethics committees of Ireland and Belgium.

The trial implementation phase for this 44-month (2016-2019) funded study was April 2018 to June 2019. The trial outcomes are at various stages of publication since 2021.

ProACT aims to co-design and develop a digital intervention with persons with multimorbidities and their CN, incorporating clinical guidelines with the state of the art in human-computer interaction, behavioral science, health psychology, and data analytic methods to deliver a digital health platform to advance self-management of multimorbidity at home, as part of a proactive, integrated model of supported person-centered care.

International Registered Report Identifier (IRRID):

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: multimorbidity; digital health; chronic disease; self-management; older adults; integrated care; behaviour change; mobile phone; smart phone; smart device
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > Healthcare Industry
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > Welfare of older people
Divisions: School of Business > Staff Research and Publications
Depositing User: Clara Chan
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2022 11:40
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2022 13:19

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