mHealth app patient testing and review of educational materials designed for self-management of gout patients: descriptive qualitative studies

Amy D. Nguyen*, Lauren J. Frensham, Michael X. C. Wong, Sylvain M. M. Meslin, Paige Martin, Annie Y. S. Lau, Melissa T. Baysari, Richard O. Day

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Gout is a form of chronic arthritis caused by elevated serum uric acid (SUA) and culminates in painful gout attacks. Although effective uric acid-lowering therapies exist, adherence is low. This is partly due to the lack of support for patients to self-manage their disease. Mobile health apps have been used in the self-management of chronic conditions. However, not all are developed with patients, limiting their effectiveness. Objective: The objective of our study was to collect feedback from gout patients to design an effective gout self-management app. Methods: Two descriptive qualitative studies were conducted. In Study 1, researchers developed a short educational video and written materials about gout management, designed to be embedded into an app; 6 interviews and 1 focus group were held with gout patients to gather feedback on these materials. Usability testing in Study 2 involved additional gout patients using a pilot version of Gout, a gout self-management app, for 2 weeks. Following the trial, patients participated in an interview about their experiences using the app. Results: Patients viewed the gout educational material positively, appreciating the combined use of video, text, and images. Patients were receptive to using a mobile app to self-manage their gout. Feedback about Gout was generally positive with patients reporting that the tracking and diary features were most useful. Patients also provided suggestions for improving the app and educational materials. Conclusions: These studies involved patients in the development of a gout self-management app. Patients provided insight to improve the app’s presentation and usability and general lessons on useful features for chronic disease apps. Gout patients enjoyed tracking their SUA concentrations and gout attack triggers. These capabilities can be translated into self-management apps for chronic diseases that require monitoring of pathological values, medication adherence, or symptoms. Future health app design should integrate patient input and be developed iteratively to address concerns identified by patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere182
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalJMIR mHealth and uHealth
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Chronic disease
  • Gout
  • Mobile apps
  • Self-management
  • Uric acid


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