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An eHealth Application of Self-Reported Sports-Related Injuries and Illnesses in Paralympic Sport: Pilot Feasibility and Usability Study
Rehabilitation Medicine Research Group, Department of Health Sciences, Lund University.
Athletics Research Center, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linköping University.
Athletics Research Center, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linkoping University.
Athletics Research Center, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linkoping University.
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2017 (English)In: JMIR Human Factors, ISSN 2292-9495, Vol. 4, no 4, 30Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Sport participation is associated with a risk of sports-related injuries and illnesses, and Paralympic athletes’ additional medical issues can be a challenge to health care providers and medical staff. However, few prospective studies have assessed sports-related injuries and illnesses in Paralympic sport (SRIIPS) over time. Advances in mobile phone technology and networking systems offer novel opportunities to develop innovative eHealth applications for collection of athletes’ self-reports. Using eHealth applications for collection of self-reported SRIIPS is an unexplored area, and before initiation of full-scale research of SRIIPS, the feasibility and usability of such an approach needs to be ascertained.

Objective: The aim of this study was to perform a 4-week pilot study and (1) evaluate the monitoring feasibility and system usability of a novel eHealth application for self-reported SRIIPS and (2) report preliminary data on SRIIPS.

Methods: An eHealth application for routine collection of data from athletes was developed and adapted to Paralympic athletes. A 4-week pilot study was performed where Paralympic athletes (n=28) were asked to weekly self-report sport exposure, training load, general well-being, pain, sleep, anxiety, and possible SRIIPS. The data collection was followed by a poststudy use assessment survey. Quantitative data related to the system use (eg, completed self-reports, missing responses, and errors) were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The qualitative feasibility and usability data provided by the athletes were condensed and categorized using thematic analysis methods.

Results: The weekly response rate was 95%. The athletes were of the opinion that the eHealth application was usable and feasible but stated that it was not fully adapted to Paralympic athletes and their impairments. For example, it was difficult to understand how a new injury or illness should be identified when the impairment was involved. More survey items related to the impairments were requested, as the athletes perceived that injuries and illnesses often occurred because of the impairment. Options for description of multifactorial incidents including an injury, an illness, and the impairment were also insufficient. Few technical issues were encountered, but athletes with visual impairment reported usability difficulties with the speech synthesizer. An incidence rate of 1.8 injuries and 1.7 illnesses per 100 hours of athlete exposure were recorded. The weekly pain prevalence was 56% and the impairment contributed to 20% of the reported incidents.

Conclusions: The novel eHealth-based application for self-reported SRIIPS developed and tested in this pilot study was generally feasible and usable. With some adaptation to accommodate Paralympic athletes’ prerequisites and improved technical support for athletes with visual impairment, this application can be recommended for use in prospective studies of SRIIPS.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
JMIR Publications , 2017. Vol. 4, no 4, 30
National Category
Occupational Therapy
Research subject
Occupational therapy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-66885DOI: 10.2196/humanfactors.8117PubMedID: 29187343OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-66885DiVA: diva2:1162193
Note

Validerad;2017;Nivå 2;2017-12-04 (rokbeg)

Available from: 2017-12-04 Created: 2017-12-04 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved

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