Background Despite the growing evidence for the benefits of physical activity in the population of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the majority does not meet the recommendations of health enhancing physical activity (HEPA). One solution tried to facilitate adoption and maintenance of HEPA behavior is to derive intervention strategies from health behavior change theories and to make them available over the internet. Using principles from design science i.e. take advantages of users’ experiences during the development of the internet-based HEPA intervention (IHI), may improve its quality and feasibility (1).
Objectives The aim was to explore experiences and innovations on crucial aspects for adoption and maintenance of HEPA. Another aim was to identify participants’ innovations regarding the most important content in a future IHI.
Methods This study reports from the first step of participant involvement. Six focus groups were performed with a strategic sample of 26 individuals with RA. A semi-structured interview guide was used addressing the two overall questions. The data was analyzed using an inductive qualitative content analysis.
Results Seven categories were described as crucial for adoption and maintenance of HEPA: personal incentives, personal mastering, information adapted to the RA condition, peer support, professional coaching, physical environment and resources and societal subventions. Six categories were identified including important functionalities on a future IHI: up-to-date and evidence-based information and instructions, self-regulation tools, chat-groups and fora for social interaction, customized options, the interface and access to the IHI.
Conclusions This is, to the best of our knowledge, the first study involving individuals with RA in the development of an internet-based HEPA intervention. By applying a participatory design, we acknowledge patients’ experiences and innovations as valid knowledge. As a consequence, the future IHI may fit users’ needs and improve the possibility for a successful implementation.
Bate P, Robert G. Experience-based design: from redesigning the system around the patient to co-designing services with the patient. Qual Saf Health Care 2006;15:307-10.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared