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Body-worn sensors in Parkinson's Disease: Evaluating their acceptability to patients

Lookup NU author(s): Dr James FisherORCiD, Nils Hammerla, Professor Lynn RochesterORCiD, Dr Peter Andras, Professor Richard Walker


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Background:Remote monitoring of symptoms in Parkinson's disease (PD) using body-worn sensors would assist treatment decisions and evaluation of new treatments. To date, a rigorous, systematic evaluation of the acceptability of body-worn sensors in PD has not been undertaken.Materials and Methods:Thirty-four participants wore bilateral wrist-worn sensors for 4h in a research facility and then for 1 week at home. Participants' experiences of wearing the sensors were evaluated using a Likert-style questionnaire after each phase. Qualitative data were collected through free-text responses. Differences in responses between phases were assessed by using the Wilcoxon rank-sum test. Content analysis of qualitative data was undertaken. Non-wear time was estimated via analysis of accelerometer data for periods when sensors were stationary.Results:After prolonged wearing there was a negative shift in participants' views on the comfort of the sensor; problems with the sensor's strap were highlighted. However, accelerometer data demonstrated high patient concordance with wearing of the sensors. There was no evidence that participants were less likely to wear the sensors in public. Most participants preferred wearing the sensors to completing symptom diaries.Conclusions:The finding that participants were not less likely to wear the sensors in public provides reassurance regarding the ecological validity of the data captured. The validity of our findings was strengthened by triangulation of data sources, enabling patients to express their agenda and repeated assessment after prolonged wearing. Long-term monitoring with wrist-worn sensors is acceptable to this cohort of PD patients. Evaluation of the wearer's experience is critical to the development of remote monitoring technology.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Fisher JM, Hammerla NY, Rochester L, Andras P, Walker RW

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Telemedicine and e-Health

Year: 2016

Volume: 22

Issue: 1

Pages: 63-69

Print publication date: 13/01/2016

Online publication date: 17/07/2015

Acceptance date: 26/03/2015

ISSN (print): 1530-5627

ISSN (electronic): 1556-3669

Publisher: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Publishers


DOI: 10.1089/tmj.2015.0026

PubMed id: 4739122


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