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P102: Supporting Informal Carers to Undertake Regular Physical Activity from Home: a Co-design and Prototype Development Study of a novel app, “CareFit”

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 February 2024

Kieren J Egan
Affiliation:
Department of Computer and Information Science, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
William Hodgson
Affiliation:
School of Psychological Sciences and Health, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
Bradley MacDonald
Affiliation:
Department of Computer and Information Science, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
Barbara Fawcett
Affiliation:
School of Social Work and Social Policy, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
Mark D Dunlop
Affiliation:
Department of Computer and Information Science, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
Alison Kirk
Affiliation:
School of Psychological Sciences and Health, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
Roma Maguire
Affiliation:
Department of Computer and Information Science, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
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Abstract

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Background:

Informal carers (unpaid family members and friends), are critical to millions worldwide for the ongoing delivery of health and well-being needs. However, the physical and mental wellbeing of caregivers is often poor including low levels of physical activity, frequently owed to contributing factors such as lack of time, lack of support and motivation. Thus, accessible evidence-based tools to facilitate physical activity for carers are urgently needed.

Objective:

The aim of this study was to co-design and develop a novel mobile app to educate and support carers in the undertaking of regular physical activity. This is achieved via integration of the transtheoretical model of behaviour change and UK physical activity guidelines across 8 weeks of use.

Methods:

We co-designed a mobile app, “CareFit,” by directly involving caregivers, health care professionals, and social care professionals in the requirements, capturing, and evaluation phases across a number of Agile Scrum development sprints. Requirements for CareFit were grounded in a combination of behavioural change science and UK government physical activity guidelines.

Results:

Participants identified different barriers and enablers to physical activity, such as a lack of time, recognition of existing activities, and concerns regarding safely undertaking physical activity. Requirements analysis highlighted the importance of simplicity in design and a need to anchor development around the everyday needs of caregivers (eg, easy-to-use video instructions, reducing text). Our final prototype app integrated guidance for undertaking physical activity at home through educational, physical activity, and communication components.

Conclusions:

Integrating government guidelines with models of behavioural change into a mobile app to support the physical activity of carers is novel and holds future promise. Integrating core physical activity guidelines into a co-designed smartphone app with functionality such as a weekly planner and educational material for users is feasible acceptable and usable. Here we will document the latest developments on the project including an ongoing national study currently taking place in Scotland to test the prototype with 50 carers.

Type
Posters
Copyright
© International Psychogeriatric Association 2024