Parent experiences with electronic medication monitoring in pediatric asthma management: Qualitative study

Kristin Kan*, Sara Shaunfield, Madeleine Kanaley, Avneet Chadha, Kathy Boon, Carolyn C. Foster, Luis Morales, Patricia Labellarte, Deneen Vojta, Ruchi S. Gupta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Electronic medication monitoring (EMM) is a digital tool that can be used for tracking daily medication use. Previous studies of EMM in asthma management have been conducted in adults or have examined pediatric interventions that use EMM for less than 1 year. To understand how to improve EMM-enhanced interventions, it is necessary to explore the experiences of parents of children with asthma, recruited from outpatient practices, who completed a 12-month intervention trial. Objective: The objective of our study was to use qualitative inquiry to answer the following questions: (1) how did using an EMM-enhanced intervention change parents'/caregivers’ experiences of managing their child’s asthma, and (2) what do parents recommend for improving the intervention in the future? Methods: Parents were recruited from the intervention arm of a multicomponent health intervention enhanced by Bluetooth-enabled sensors placed on inhaler medications. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 20 parents of children aged 4-12 years with asthma. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and inductively analyzed using a constant comparative approach. Results: Interview participants reflected an even mix of publicly and privately insured children and a diverse racial-ethnic demographic. Parents discussed 6 key themes related to their experience with the EMM-enhanced intervention for the management of their child's asthma: (1) compatibility with the family's lifestyle, (2) impact on asthma management, (3) impact on the child’s health, (4) emotional impact of the intervention, (5) child’s engagement in asthma management with the intervention, and (6) recommendations for future intervention design. Overall, parents reported that the 12-month EMM intervention was compatible with their daily lives, positively influenced their preventive and acute asthma management, and promoted their child's engagement in their own asthma management. While parents found the intervention acceptable and generally favorable, some parents identified compatibility issues for families with multiple caregivers and frustration when the technology malfunctioned. Conclusions: Parents generally viewed the intervention as a positive influence on the management of their child's asthma. However, our study also highlighted technology challenges related to having multiple caregivers, which will need to be addressed in future iterations for families. Attention must be paid to the needs of parents from low socioeconomic households, who may have more limited access to reliable internet or depend on other relatives for childcare. Understanding these family factors will help refine how a digital tool can be adopted into daily disease management of pediatric asthma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere25811
JournalJMIR Pediatrics and Parenting
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Keywords

  • Asthma
  • Asthma management
  • Bluetooth sensors
  • Caregivers
  • Digital health
  • Inhaler
  • Outpatient care
  • Parents
  • Pediatric
  • Pediatric asthma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Health Informatics
  • Biomedical Engineering

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