Handheld computers and paper diaries for documenting the use of factor concentrates used in haemophilia home therapy: a qualitative study
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A recently published randomized controlled trial (RCT) showed that adherence to infusion diary record keeping was improved by the use of handheld computers. In this study, attitudes to record keeping were explored and patient preferences regarding the method of recording determined for the patients who participated in the trial. Qualitative study consisting of individual semi-structured interviews with 20 severely affected patients with haemophilia who participated in an RCT. Individuals were purposefully sampled based on their recent method of record keeping and whether child or adult. Analysis employed a constant comparative method to identify key themes from the data. Most individuals (19 of 20, 95%) considered record keeping to be important. They readily identified reasons to keep records: to benefit themselves, their families, clinical staff, product distributors and manufacturers. Keeping records helps them: feel a part of the health care team; have confidence they would be notified of product recalls; review their past history; improve their ability to advocate for themselves and improve communication among all parties. Record keeping, particularly when using paper diaries, can be burdensome and a challenge to maintain consistently. All 10 individuals (100%) who had used both paper diaries and handheld computers preferred the latter. Most patients understand that record keeping can be of benefit to them. Clinics can use this knowledge to inspire other patients by developing educational programmes that de-emphasize authority. In addition, given the evidence of both patients' preference for handheld computers, and the effectiveness of this approach documented in an RCT, switching to handheld computers is likely to improve record keeping.
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