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INTRODUCTION: The use of mHealth applications is widespread in adult care and been used less in pediatric care due to the unique challenges of pediatric interventions, especially for children with congenital heart disease (CHD)1. High incidence of mobile phone ownership provides low-cost, broad reach intervention for developmental support for pediatric populations2-3. Infants with CHD are at a high risk for experiencing multiple developmental delays4. Study purpose is to evaluate mHealth adherence and acceptance of a developmental application, Babysparks©, by parents of infants with CHD.
METHODS: A single site, cross sectional, pilot study, with a pre/post-test design was used to evaluate the mHealth adherence at parental self-imposed rate over 6 months after pediatric CHD surgery for children < 18 months.
RESULTS: Of 101 potentials, 66 parents enrolled with 83.1% (n=54) successfully initiating the app link. Utilization of the developmental videos was found in 29 parents (43.9%). No differences in SES were noted, but a higher rate of adherence for parents of children with feeding tubes v. PO feed solely (p=.021) with only 37.9% (n=25/66) PO feed solely. 87.3% of parents reported daily mobile phone use and a low rate of utilization of therapies outside the hospital was noted at 44.6%. Table 1 is rate of adherence. Implementation was highest with gross motor (89.6%, n=26/29) and speech (75.9%, n=22/29). At study exit, 87.2% (n=34/39) of parents reported the app was easy to use and 100% (n=39/39) agreed that regular use of this app would help other children with CHD.
DISCUSSION: Adherence initiation of the mHealth app was high but implementation of the videos was low at 43.9%, likely due to self-management factors with additional stress of complex care regimens including pediatric feeding tubes. Developmental milestones were more frequently reached when the videos were accessed. A key area of future research is two-way communication with the CHD developmental team utilizing the mHealth dashboard and implementation rates of use with parents.
Manderfeld, Amanda; Marshall, Jennifer A.; Willen, Elizabeth J.; Gross-Toalson, Jami; Ricketts, Amy; Elliott, Melissa D.; Crail, Nickey; and Erickson, Lori, "Pilot Study Of Mhealth Adherence By Parents To A Pediatric Developmental Application For Infants After Neonatal Cardiac Surgery" (2022). Research at Children's Mercy Month 2022. 7.