Feasibility and Acceptability of Ecological Momentary Assessment of Daily Functioning Among Older Adults with HIV

Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2017 Aug;25(8):829-840. doi: 10.1016/j.jagp.2016.11.019. Epub 2016 Dec 1.


Objective: This study aimed to examine the feasibility, acceptability, and initial validity of using smartphone-based ecological momentary assessment (EMA) to assess daily functioning and other behavioral factors among older HIV+ adults.

Methods: Twenty older HIV+ adults (mean age: 59 years) completed laboratory-based neurobehavioral and functional assessments then completed EMA surveys via smartphones five times per day for one week.

Results: Excellent EMA adherence (86.4%) was found, and participants rated their experience with EMA methods positively. Time-use data indicated participants were spending 74% of their waking-sampled time at home, 63% of their time alone, and 32% of their time engaged in passive leisure activities (e.g., watching TV). Better neurocognitive and functional capacity abilities were correlated with less time spent in passive leisure activities. Lastly, mood and cognitive symptom data collected via EMA were significantly associated with scores from laboratory-based assessments of these same constructs.

Conclusions: EMA via smartphones is a feasible and acceptable data collection method among older HIV+ adults and appears to be a promising mobile tool to assess daily functioning behaviors in HIV. These preliminary findings indicate older HIV+ adults are spending a considerable amount of time at home, alone, and engaged in passive leisure activities, primarily watching TV. EMA may contribute to future research examining functional disability among the growing population of older HIV+ adults.

Keywords: Ecological momentary assessment; HIV/AIDS; aging; daily functioning; disability; mHealth.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living* / psychology
  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology
  • Aging / psychology
  • Ecological Momentary Assessment*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Infections* / physiopathology
  • HIV Infections* / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Informatics Applications*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mobile Applications*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Smartphone