Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


"It Brings You into the Fold": Understanding Patients' Experiences of Mobile Health Technologies Public Deposited

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  • Chronic disease is costly to treat and burdensome for those living with its impacts. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2017), 117 million Americans currently live with chronic disease, and one in four adults live with two or more chronic diseases. The burden placed on the U.S. healthcare infrastructure by such conditions is likely to continue to grow in coming years, leading to a call for solutions to simultaneously alleviate both the economic and personal costs associated with chronic disease management. Mobile health (mHealth) technologies show promise in reducing costs of care and in increasing patient self-efficacy in chronic disease management, yet the patient experience of mHealth is poorly understood. This thesis presents findings from qualitative analyses undertaken as part of a mixed-methods study examining the impacts of an mHealth application for remotely monitoring patients with chronic disease. In it, I use data from semi-structured interviews and text-message transcripts from patient users of the app to examine the experience of using mobile health technologies to seek and receive health care in the day-to-day management of chronic disease. The mHealth intervention examined here from the perspective of patient users challenged traditional expectations of the clinical encounter and allowed new modes of interaction between patients and care providers to emerge. Salient aspects of the patient experience included: 1) feeling both seen and heard within the medical system, 2) reassurance resulting from being able to access care at any time and from any place, 3) a sense of personal connection with nurse care coordinators, and 4) synergistic interactions between technology and nursing care. I use Bordieu's theory of fields as a framework for understanding how the program under study acted in the lives of patients to upset expectations of seeking and receiving health care, and how this disruption opened a space within which the norms and dispositions of the field of biomedicine were renegotiated in a way they came to experience as positively impacting their wellbeing.
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  • Funding for this research was provided by InterCommunity Health Network, CCO
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  • Pending Publication
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  • 2017-12-06 to 2019-01-06



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