Using intervention mapping to develop a decision support system–based smartphone app (selfBACK) to support self-management of nonspecific low back pain: development and usability study

Svendsen, M. J. et al. (2022) Using intervention mapping to develop a decision support system–based smartphone app (selfBACK) to support self-management of nonspecific low back pain: development and usability study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 24(1), e26555. (doi: 10.2196/26555) (PMID:35072645) (PMCID:PMC8822424)

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Background: International guidelines consistently endorse the promotion of self-management for people with low back pain (LBP); however, implementation of these guidelines remains a challenge. Digital health interventions, such as those that can be provided by smartphone apps, have been proposed as a promising mode of supporting self-management in people with chronic conditions, including LBP. However, the evidence base for digital health interventions to support self-management of LBP is weak, and detailed descriptions and documentation of the interventions are lacking. Structured intervention mapping (IM) constitutes a 6-step process that can be used to guide the development of complex interventions. Objective: The aim of this paper is to describe the IM process for designing and creating an app-based intervention designed to support self-management of nonspecific LBP to reduce pain-related disability. Methods: The first 5 steps of the IM process were systematically applied. The core processes included literature reviews, brainstorming and group discussions, and the inclusion of stakeholders and representatives from the target population. Over a period of >2 years, the intervention content and the technical features of delivery were created, tested, and revised through user tests, feasibility studies, and a pilot study. Results: A behavioral outcome was identified as a proxy for reaching the overall program goal, that is, increased use of evidence-based self-management strategies. Physical exercises, education, and physical activity were the main components of the self-management intervention and were designed and produced to be delivered via a smartphone app. All intervention content was theoretically underpinned by the behavior change theory and the normalization process theory. Conclusions: We describe a detailed example of the application of the IM approach for the development of a theory-driven, complex, and digital intervention designed to support self-management of LBP. This description provides transparency in the developmental process of the intervention and can be a possible blueprint for designing and creating future digital health interventions for self-management.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The selfBACK project has received funding from the European Union Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program under grant agreement 689043. The authors wish to thank all selfBACK consortium members for their efforts in developing the intervention.
Keywords:Health Informatics
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mair, Professor Frances and Nicholl, Dr Barbara
Authors: Svendsen, M. J., Sandal, L. F., Kjær, P., Nicholl, B. I., Cooper, K., Mair, F., Hartvigsen, J., Stochkendahl, M. J., Søgaard, K., Mork, P. J., and Rasmussen, C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > General Practice and Primary Care
Journal Name:Journal of Medical Internet Research
Publisher:JMIR Publications
Published Online:24 January 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © Malene Jagd Svendsen, Louise Fleng Sandal, Per Kjær, Barbara I Nicholl, Kay Cooper, Frances Mair, Jan Hartvigsen, Mette Jensen Stochkendahl, Karen Søgaard, Paul Jarle Mork, Charlotte Rasmussen 2022
First Published:First published in Journal of Medical Internet Research 24(1): e26555
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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