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Making health care interventions and technologies usable, safe, and effective
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Background: There is an urgent need to find new strategies to support self-management for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in primary care. The use of electronic health (eHealt...
Background: There is an urgent need to find new strategies to support self-management for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in primary care. The use of electronic health (eHealth) solutions is a promising approach, but there is a lack of knowledge about how such eHealth tools should be designed in order to meet the users’ needs and facilitate the implementation. Objective: The purpose of the present study was to explore what aspects of the design and content of an eHealth tool that would make it relevant and useful for supporting COPD-related self-management strategies from the perspectives of healthcare professionals, people with COPD, relatives, and researchers. Methods: Data were collected during the development of an eHealth tool. A co-creation process was carried out with participants from two primary care units in northern Sweden, and with external researchers. Individual interviews were performed with healthcare professionals (n = 13), people with COPD (n = 6), and their relatives (n = 2), and focus group discussions (n = 9) were held with all groups of participants. All data were analysed using qualitative content analysis. Results: The overarching theme, reinforcing existing support structures reflects participants’ views that the content of the eHealth tool needs to be directly applicable and create a sense of commitment in its users. Moreover, the participants perceived that eHealth tool needs to fit with existing routines and contexts and preferably should not challenge existing hierarchies between healthcare professionals and people with COPD. Important content for healthcare professionals and people with COPD included knowledge about self-management strategies, and videos were seen as the most effective method for communicating such knowledge. Conclusions: The co-creation in the development process enable the participants’ perspectives and priorities to be built into the eHealth tool. This is assumed to contribute to a tool that has the potential to be useful and relevant, and therefore adopted, in clinical practice and in everyday life. Findings from the present study can inform the development of eHealth tools for people with COPD in other contexts, as well as the development of eHealth tools for self-management support for other chronic diseases.