A smartphone application for reporting symptoms in adults with cystic fibrosis improves the detection of exacerbations: Results of a randomised controlled trial

Jamie Wood, Sue Jenkins, David Putrino, Siobhain Mulrennan, Sue Morey, Nola Cecins, Natasha Bear, Kylie Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Respiratory exacerbations impair lung function and health-related quality of life in people with CF, with delayed identification of exacerbations often resulting in worse outcomes. We developed a smartphone application (app) for adults with CF to report symptoms to the CF team, and investigated its impact on antibiotic use and other outcomes. Methods: Participants were randomised to intervention (use of the app weekly or sooner if symptoms had worsened) or control (usual care). The app comprised questions relating to symptoms suggestive of an exacerbation. If worsening symptoms were reported, the participant was contacted by the nurse practitioner. The primary outcome measure was the number of courses and days of intravenous (IV) antibiotics. Results: Sixty participants (29 female, aged [mean ± SD] 31 ± 9 years, FEV1 60 ± 18% predicted) were recruited, with 29 (48%) allocated to the intervention group. Over the 12-month follow-up, there was no clear effect of the app on the number of courses of IV antibiotics (incidence rate ratio [IRR] 1; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.6 to 1.7), however number of courses of oral antibiotics increased (IRR 1.5; 95% CI 1.0 to 2.2). The median (IQR) time to detection of exacerbation requiring oral or IV antibiotics was shorter in the intervention group compared with the control group (70 [123] vs. 141 [140] days; p =.02). No between-group differences were observed in other outcomes. Conclusion: The use of an app reduced time to detect respiratory exacerbations that required antibiotics, however did not demonstrate a clear effect on the number of courses of IV antibiotics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-276
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cystic Fibrosis
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2020

Keywords

  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Exacerbation
  • Smartphone
  • Telehealth
  • Telemedicine

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