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Mobile Health and Mobile Rehabilitation for People with Disabilities: 2nd Edition

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 9986

Special Issue Editors

Virginia C. Crawford Research Institute, Shepherd Center, Atlanta, GA 30309, USA
Interests: design and management of environments, programs, and services that promote independent living and full inclusion of people with disabilities; applications of universal design, information and communication technology; behavior management strategies; independent living philosophy to promote health, wellness, and community participation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA
Interests: innovative assistive; information and communication technologies to enable persons with disabilities to optimize accessibility and usability of those technologies to access the world; emerging mainstream technologies; outcomes/performance monitoring, and program development
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Virginia C. Crawford Research Institute, Shepherd Center, Atlanta, GA 30309, USA
Interests: research and development of assistive and rehabilitation technology for people with all types of disability; research on user needs and usability of technology products and services; development of mobile software applications and clinical interventions leveraging mainstream consumer technology platforms.
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Mobile healthcare—the delivery of health and wellness services via mobile communication technologies—has been growing rapidly over the past decade, with adoption accelerating recently in response to the restrictions on in-person patient visits imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Mobile health (mHealth) and mobile rehabilitation (mRehab) have been touted as important new approaches for the management of chronic health conditions, including those affecting people with disabilities. 

Concerns have been raised that the proliferation of mHealth could increase health disparities if it disproportionately benefits advantaged populations and leaves vulnerable populations behind, including people with disabilities. mRehab—the use of mobile communications to support the remote delivery of rehabilitation programs to patients at home or in the community—is less mature than mHealth and must also confront critical challenges of utility, efficacy, acceptance by patients and providers, integration into hospitals’ health information systems, and reimbursement.

In this Special Issue, we aim to highlight the current state-of-the-art in mHealth and mRehab service delivery and technology; elucidate the opportunities, challenges and barriers to the adoption of mHealth/mRehab; and lay out an agenda for future research and development efforts in this area.

We encourage the submission of papers presenting original research findings, innovative mHealth/mRehab service delivery approaches, or reviews of critical barriers to adoption. 

Dr. Michael L. Jones
Dr. Frank Deruyter
Dr. John T. Morris
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • mHealth
  • mRehab
  • information and communication technologies
  • disability
  • chronic disease
  • self-management of health and wellness

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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20 pages, 3728 KiB  
Article
The SUCCESS Peer Mentoring Program for College Students with Concussion: Preliminary Results of a Mobile Technology Delivered Intervention
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(8), 5438; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20085438 - 07 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1654
Abstract
Concussions are caused by a hit or blow to the head that alters normal brain functioning. The Success in College after Concussion with Effective Student Supports (SUCCESS) program was developed to provide students with psychosocial support and resources—both key components of concussion management—to [...] Read more.
Concussions are caused by a hit or blow to the head that alters normal brain functioning. The Success in College after Concussion with Effective Student Supports (SUCCESS) program was developed to provide students with psychosocial support and resources—both key components of concussion management—to assist in recovery and return-to-learn following concussion. In this preliminary evaluation of intervention efficacy, SUCCESS was delivered through a mobile application connecting mentors (students who have recovered from concussion and successfully returned to school) with mentees who were currently recovering. Mentor–mentee pairs met virtually through the app, using chat and videoconferencing features to share support, resources, and program-specific educational materials. Results from 16 mentoring pairs showed that mentee symptoms (V = 119, p = 0.009) and academic problems decreased (V = 114.5, p = 0.002), while academic self-efficacy increased (V = 13.5, p = 0.009) following mentoring. As expected, mentor measures were stable, indicating that providing mentoring did not exacerbate previously resolved concussion complaints. Virtual peer mentoring provided through a mobile application may be a feasible intervention to support academic success and psychosocial processing during recovery for college students with concussion. Full article
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12 pages, 597 KiB  
Article
Feasibility of Using a Mobile App Supported Executive Function Intervention in Military Service Members and Veterans with mTBI and Co-Occurring Psychological Conditions
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2457; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032457 - 30 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1440
Abstract
This pilot study assessed the feasibility of using SwapMyMood, a smartphone application supporting evidence-based strategies for emotion regulation and problem-solving as a supplement to conventional care for military service members and veterans (SM/Vs) experiencing chronic symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and [...] Read more.
This pilot study assessed the feasibility of using SwapMyMood, a smartphone application supporting evidence-based strategies for emotion regulation and problem-solving as a supplement to conventional care for military service members and veterans (SM/Vs) experiencing chronic symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and co-occurring psychological conditions. Eight military SM/Vs were recruited from an intensive outpatient program. Participants were block randomized to an experimental group (conventional care plus use of the SwapMyMood app) or a conventional care only group for six weeks. Conventional care included instruction on problem-solving and emotion regulation strategies using traditional paper manuals and protocols. Effects on the knowledge and use of strategies and related goal attainment were measured. Patient-reported outcomes were measured via several validated problem-solving and emotion regulation scales. No differences were found between groups in goal attainment, global executive function, problem-solving, emotion regulation, and knowledge of how to use the problem-solving and emotion regulation strategies targeted. Experimental group participants rated the application positively, demonstrating feasibility of integration of the app into clinical care. The implementation of SwapMyMood is feasible in a clinical setting. SwapMyMood may be a clinically effective supplemental tool for supporting executive function in SM/Vs with mTBI and co-occurring psychological conditions. Full article
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11 pages, 1121 KiB  
Article
Developing and Testing a Smartphone Application to Enhance Adherence to Voice Therapy: A Pilot Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2436; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032436 - 30 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1339
Abstract
The present study aimed to develop a smartphone application (app) that addressed identified barriers to success in voice therapy; accessibility, and poor adherence to home practice. The study objectives were (1) to investigate if app use enhanced adherence to the home practice of [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to develop a smartphone application (app) that addressed identified barriers to success in voice therapy; accessibility, and poor adherence to home practice. The study objectives were (1) to investigate if app use enhanced adherence to the home practice of voice therapy and (2) to test app usability. Maximizing the effectiveness of voice therapy is vital as voice disorders are detrimental to personal and professional quality of life. A single-blinded randomized clinical trial was completed for the first objective. Participants included normophonic individuals randomly assigned to the app group or the traditional group. The primary outcome measure was adherence measured as the number of missed home practice tasks. The second objective was completed through usability testing and a focus group discussion. The app group (n = 12) missed approximately 50% less home practice tasks as compared to the traditional group (n = 13) and these results were statistically significant (p = 0.04). Dropout rates were comparable between the two groups. Usability results were positive for good usability with high perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use. App use resulted in improved adherence to home practice tasks. App usability results were positive, and participants provided specific areas of improvement which are achievable. Areas for improvement include app engagement and willingness to pay. Full article
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18 pages, 368 KiB  
Article
How People with Physical Disabilities Can Obtain Social Support through Online Videos: A Qualitative Study in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2423; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032423 - 30 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1779
Abstract
Background: Online video creation is becoming an option for many people with physical disabilities in China. However, few studies have considered how physically disabled individuals access social support through online video creation. Methods: For this qualitative study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 18 [...] Read more.
Background: Online video creation is becoming an option for many people with physical disabilities in China. However, few studies have considered how physically disabled individuals access social support through online video creation. Methods: For this qualitative study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 18 online video creators with physical disabilities. The starting point of this study was video creation by people with physical disabilities, with a focus on the social interactions between creators, online video platforms, followers, viewers and sponsors, as well as the perceived social support in the process. Results: Thematic analysis was used to identify six social support themes: (i) meeting emotional needs; (ii) obtaining informational support; (iii) obtaining creative benefits; (iv) constructing identity; (v) reconstructing social relationships; and (vi) discovering self-worth. Four risk-related themes were identified: (i) online language violence; (ii) invasion of commercial capital; (iii) online video addiction; and (iv) fragile social support. Conclusions: The findings indicate that, although people with physical disabilities can obtain effective social support through creating online videos, it is accompanied by many risks. In addition, the social support gained through creating online videos differs from traditional online social support (e.g., changes in online support groups, emphasis on creative gain). Prospect: Future research should perform more detailed analyses of different types of social support and specific risks of creation, while taking into account individual differences and sociodemographic backgrounds. Full article

Review

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28 pages, 8581 KiB  
Review
Leveraging Emerging Technologies to Expand Accessibility and Improve Precision in Rehabilitation and Exercise for People with Disabilities
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(1), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21010079 - 10 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1522
Abstract
Physical rehabilitation and exercise training have emerged as promising solutions for improving health, restoring function, and preserving quality of life in populations that face disparate health challenges related to disability. Despite the immense potential for rehabilitation and exercise to help people with disabilities [...] Read more.
Physical rehabilitation and exercise training have emerged as promising solutions for improving health, restoring function, and preserving quality of life in populations that face disparate health challenges related to disability. Despite the immense potential for rehabilitation and exercise to help people with disabilities live longer, healthier, and more independent lives, people with disabilities can experience physical, psychosocial, environmental, and economic barriers that limit their ability to participate in rehabilitation, exercise, and other physical activities. Together, these barriers contribute to health inequities in people with disabilities, by disproportionately limiting their ability to participate in health-promoting physical activities, relative to people without disabilities. Therefore, there is great need for research and innovation focusing on the development of strategies to expand accessibility and promote participation in rehabilitation and exercise programs for people with disabilities. Here, we discuss how cutting-edge technologies related to telecommunications, wearables, virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing are providing new opportunities to improve accessibility in rehabilitation and exercise for people with disabilities. In addition, we highlight new frontiers in digital health technology and emerging lines of scientific research that will shape the future of precision care strategies for people with disabilities. Full article
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31 pages, 534 KiB  
Review
Digital Health for Migrants, Ethnic and Cultural Minorities and the Role of Participatory Development: A Scoping Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(20), 6962; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20206962 - 23 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1409
Abstract
Digital health interventions (DHIs) are increasingly used to address the health of migrants and ethnic minorities, some of whom have reduced access to health services and worse health outcomes than majority populations. This study aims to give an overview of digital health interventions [...] Read more.
Digital health interventions (DHIs) are increasingly used to address the health of migrants and ethnic minorities, some of whom have reduced access to health services and worse health outcomes than majority populations. This study aims to give an overview of digital health interventions developed for ethnic or cultural minority and migrant populations, the health problems they address, their effectiveness at the individual level and the degree of participation of target populations during development. We used the methodological approach of the scoping review outlined by Tricco. We found a total of 2248 studies, of which 57 were included, mostly using mobile health technologies, followed by websites, informational videos, text messages and telehealth. Most interventions focused on illness self-management, mental health and wellbeing, followed by pregnancy and overall lifestyle habits. About half did not involve the target population in development and only a minority involved them consistently. The studies we found indicate that the increased involvement of the target population in the development of digital health tools leads to a greater acceptance of their use. Full article
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