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Journal Articles JMIR mHealth and uHealth Year : 2022

Willingness of French General Practitioners to Prescribe mHealth Apps and Devices: Quantitative Study

Abstract

Background: The field of mobile health (mHealth) is constantly expanding. Integrating mHealth apps and devices in clinical practice is a major and complex challenge. General practitioners (GPs) are an essential link in a patient's care pathway. As they are patients' preferred health care intermediaries, GPs play an important role in supporting patients' transition to mHealth. Objective: This study aims to identify the factors associated with the willingness of French GPs to prescribe mHealth apps and devices to their patients. Methods: This study was part of the ApiAppS project whose overall objective was to help remove barriers GPs face when prescribing mHealth apps and devices by developing a custom-built platform to aid them. The study included GPs recruited from the general practice department of several medical faculties in France (Lyon, Nice, and Rouen) and mailing lists of academic GPs, health care professional associations, and social and professional networks. Participants were asked to complete a web-based questionnaire that collected data on various sociodemographic variables, indicators of their involvement in continued education programs and the amount of time they dedicated to promoting healthy behaviors during patient consultations, and indicators characterizing their patient population. Data on their perceptions of mHealth apps and devices were also collected. Finally, the questionnaire included items to measure GPs' acceptability of prescribing mHealth apps and devices for several health-related dimensions. Results: Of the 174 GPs, 129 (74.1%) declared their willingness to prescribe mHealth apps and devices to their patients. In multivariate analysis, involvement in continued education programs (odds ratio [OR] 6.17, 95% CI 1.52-28.72), a better patient base command of the French language (OR 1.45, 95% CI 1.13-1.88), GP-perceived benefits of mHealth apps and devices for both patients and their medical practice and GP-perceived drivers for mHealth apps and device implementation in their medical practice (OR 1.04, 95% CI 1.01-1.07), and validation of mHealth apps and devices through randomized clinical trials (OR 1.02, 95% CI 1.00-1.04) were all associated with GPs' willingness to prescribe mHealth apps and devices. In contrast, older GPs (OR 0.95, 95% CI 0.91-0.98), female GPs (OR 0.26, 95% CI 0.09-0.69), and those who perceived risks for the patient or their medical practice (OR 0.96, 95% CI 0.94-0.99) were less inclined to prescribe mHealth apps and devices. Conclusions: mHealth apps and devices were generally seen by GPs as useful in general medicine and were, for the most part, favorable to prescribing them. Their full integration in general medicine will be conditioned by the need for conclusive certification, transparency (reliable and precise data concerning mHealth app and device methods of construction and clinical validation), software aids to assist GPs prescribe them, and dedicated training programs.
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Dates and versions

inserm-04056865 , version 1 (03-04-2023)

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Claire Della Vecchia, Tanguy Leroy, Charlotte Bauquier, Myriam Pannard, Aline Sarradon-Eck, et al.. Willingness of French General Practitioners to Prescribe mHealth Apps and Devices: Quantitative Study. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 2022, 10 (2), pp.e28372. ⟨10.2196/28372⟩. ⟨inserm-04056865⟩
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