Pediatric Patient and Caregiver Preferences in the Development of a Mobile Health Application for Management of Surgical Colorectal Conditions

Mehul V Raval*, Natalie Taylor, Kaitlin Piper, Mitali Thakore, Kathleen Hoff, Shane Owens, Megan M. Durham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Patient-centered frameworks are an effective way to engage patients in treatment plans, strengthen adherence behaviors, and improve disease outcomes. These frameworks can also be applied in the design of mobile technology disease management applications. However, the utilization of these frameworks is rare and frequently overlooked in existing colorectal mobile health (mHealth) applications. The purpose of this study was to utilize a patient-centered framework to facilitate the development of a valid, appropriate, and feasible mHealth tool for pediatric patients and their caregivers. To inform application design and production, in-depth interviews were conducted with pediatric patients and their caregivers to capture management experiences, application preferences, and barriers and facilitators to application use. Patient ages ranged from 3 to 16. Six caregivers and 2 adolescent patients participated in the interviews. Patients and caregivers reported various management styles and desired an application that is not only user-friendly and customizable, but also able to facilitate communication and information sharing with other patients, caregivers, and providers. Older patients also wanted the application to give them more independence in managing their disease. Employing patient-centered frameworks is context-specific, but holds much promise at the intersection of mobile technology and healthcare. By incorporating pediatric patient experiences and viewpoints, we identified important components for inclusion in a mHealth surgical colorectal disease management application. Patients and caregivers wanted a mHealth application that was unique to their needs and easy to use. They suggested that the application include treatment tracking, note taking, and provider communication features.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105
JournalJournal of Medical Systems
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017


  • Adherence
  • Colorectal
  • Disease management
  • Patient engagement
  • Patient involvement
  • Patient-centered framework
  • Shared-decision making
  • mHealth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Health Information Management
  • Health Informatics
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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