Adequate management of myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) symptoms is an ongoing challenge for patients with the disease; therefore, researchers sought to determine the feasibility of using an app to reduce MPN symptom burden. Patients were recruited for a 12-week intervention that uses the global wellness mobile app “My Wellness Coach” (MWC). The findings were published in JMIR Formative Research.
Feasibility was assessed based on ease of recruitment, participant adherence, and mobile app acceptability. Thirty participants were enrolled within a 60-day window, which suggests demand for the intervention. However, although recruitment met the study design, only 53% of participants remained in the study through the final assessment (target was 75%).
Participants were asked to download the MWC app and participate in 4 steps: score, explore, set a goal, and take action. They could set goals within 7 domains: nutrition, sleep, movement, environment, resilience, relationships, and spirituality. Once a goal was set, participants were encouraged to take action and meet their deadlines via reminders the app provided before and after each action step.
The Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Symptom Assessment Form (MPN-SAF) was completed at baseline and at 12 weeks, and the scores were compared. Improvements were reported in inactivity, impaired concentration, dizziness, numbness, sexual dysfunction, night sweats, bone pain, and quality of life. The reminder function of the app was credited with contributing to this success.
“Our small feasibility pilot study provided preliminary evidence that the MWC global wellness app intervention is feasible within the population with MPN and may reduce the MPN Symptom burden,” the researchers concluded, noting this study was “a promising first step toward a self-management strategy to lessen the substantial symptom burden of patients with MPN.”
A notable study limitation was its small size, the researchers acknowledged. Future studies could increase their recruitment goals, perhaps achieving a larger pool of participants. Variability in participants’ technological proficiency was a limitation; some admitted to finding use of the app confusing and stopped using it. Also, this particular study didn’t examine which mechanisms were most effective at reducing specific symptoms.
Disclosures: One author declared an affiliation with biotech, pharmaceutical, and/or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of disclosures.
Win H, Russell S, Wertheim BC, et al. Mobile app intervention on reducing the myeloproliferative neoplasm symptom burden: pilot feasibility and acceptability study. JMIR Form Res. 2022;6(3):e33581. doi:10.2196/33581