Objectives: This study aims to test a mobile health application (mHealth app) developed to meet the needs of women newly diagnosed with asymptomatic osteoporosis. We investigate how the women experience using an mHealth app upon diagnosis of osteoporosis and whether the app can help them to be prepared for treatment decision-making and support them in osteoporosis self-management. We also tested the usability of the app, to find out whether any adjustments were necessary prior to implementation.
Methods: A test was conducted at a Danish university hospital with 18 women aged 50-65, newly diagnosed with asymptomatic osteoporosis. On presenting for a bone density scan at the hospital, they were provided with the app, which was named 'My Osteoporosis Journey'. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews. Giorgi's descriptive phenomenological method guided the data analysis in four steps.
Findings: In total, 17 women succeeded in downloading the app, thereby accessing information on asymptomatic osteoporosis, their bone density scan results and treatment recommendations prior to visiting their general practitioner. Three overall themes were identified. Women experienced that the app (1) gave a feeling of confidence and reassurance, (2) prepared the women on treatment decision-making in the general practitioner visit and (3) provided help at hand in self-management of osteoporosis.
Conclusion: Our findings show that the mHealth app helps women to feel confident and reassured upon diagnosis of asymptomatic osteoporosis. The women felt that the app promoted an equal dialogue in the osteoporosis consultation since they felt prepared for visiting their general practitioner and were able to articulate their individual needs regarding treatment. After diagnosis, the women felt that the app provided support in self-management, right at their fingertips.