Digital tools such as wearable devices and video calls have the potential to help people with Parkinson’s manage their nutrition, but barriers need to be overcome for patients and caregivers to optimally use these tools.
According to research, “Digital Health Drivers and Barriers in Nutrition Management for Parkinson’s Disease Patients and Their Caregivers: A Formative and Qualitative Study]was published. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.
This study was conducted through interviews with 20 patients and their caregivers in the northeastern United States.
Nutrition can be compromised by Parkinson’s symptoms and drugs
Proper nutrition is very important for maintaining good health. Patients can experience unique challenges in meeting their nutritional needs, from the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease that make swallowing difficult, to potential interactions between certain foods and medications to treat disease. It often happens.
Digital health tools can be a convenient way for people with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers to access nutritional information, but few studies have investigated how they view digital health tools. there is no. Scientists, primarily from Rhode Island laboratories, conducted interviews to learn more. People were primarily recruited through community centers and support groups.
“This study explored the drivers and barriers to utilizing digital health platforms for nutrition services. [people with Parkinson’s] The researchers added that the long-term goal of this kind of research is to “inform the creation of easy-to-use, evidence-based digital nutrition services.”
Most of the 20 interviewed patients were found to be male, whereas most of the 20 caregivers were found to be female. All were found to be Caucasian and one patient was also found to be Hispanic/Latino. The average age of the group was 68 years. Patients were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease an average of 7.6 years ago and are believed to be in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease.
Many people were found to be at risk of malnutrition, as measured by a 25-item Dietary Screening Tool questionnaire. Scores below 60 are classified as at risk. Caregiver mean score was 58.2 and patient mean score was 56.95.
Interviews revealed that these patients and caregivers view digital health platforms as a convenient, cost-effective, and convenient way to gain knowledge. From getting news to checking answers to crossword puzzles, many people already use digital tools to stay informed. They also sought nutritional advice.
“The information is very easy to come by … I asked Google, ‘How many calories are there in a cup full of berries?’ and I got the answer,” said one patient.
“As you become more forgetful and multitask more, you find yourself leaving the stove on, forgetting to turn on the sink, forgetting to close the fridge, and more technology,” said another. Ta.
Smartphones and watches may not meet the challenges of Parkinson’s disease and aging
Patients and caregivers reported that digital tools were fun and could be a means of socializing. For example, some patients say they use social media such as Facebook to connect with people with Parkinson’s disease to share tips and tricks for navigating life with the disease, or to find support in their communities. said.
Despite the potential of digital medical tools, patients and caregivers are also aware of several barriers to their use. These include difficulty using or understanding digital platforms, poor platform design, dissatisfaction with technology reliability, and skepticism about obtaining accurate information online.
“It’s very painful for me to use my hands to make phone calls, text messages, etc… And when I talk to Siri, she doesn’t always understand me,” said one caregiver.
“There is a lot of information out there, but I trust information from sources like the Parkinson’s Association … I take most of what I read online with a grain of salt,” said one patient.
Another patient said videoconferencing for checkups was preferred to “handle rush hour crowds to maintain appointments.”
Poor product design barriers indicate that “many commercial devices and programs for the general public do not address the physical and cognitive changes unique to humans.” [Parkinson’s] “And aging,” the researchers wrote, adding that barriers such as shivering are making smartphones and smartwatches less useful.
Given the group’s risk of malnutrition, scientists believe the wearable device will provide “real-time, objective feedback that is continuously and passively collected” to provide healthcare providers with accurate information. This could help improve patient care, he said.
But patients and caregivers were skeptical.
“There seems to be a misunderstanding” [these pairs] It takes time and requires active engagement and tracking by end-users,” the scientists added.
Patients and caregivers point out distrust and difficulties with technology
Many of our interviewees also pointed to a general distrust of technology and a lack of interest in, or difficulty accessing, a particular platform despite being “highly educated.”
“I don’t bring technology into my home. Someone who has a smart house that automatically adjusts the temperature and lighting in the house. I have sensors and it didn’t cost me anything. My skin is It tells me when it’s cold, and it tells me if I need more light in the house or if there’s too much light,” said one patient.
Researchers hope to use their findings to develop a digital platform that can provide useful nutrition information to patients and caregivers while minimizing barriers.
“Our data supports the development, piloting, and feasibility and feasibility studies of digital health platforms that provide nutritional services to diverse populations. [Parkinson’s] A community that is convenient, includes informal caregivers, and minimizes the burden on participants,” they wrote.