Objective: Assessment of asthma control and provision of asthma action plans are seldom performed in practice, partly due to limited time for physicians to ascertain required information. A patient-facing electronic asthma questionnaire could facilitate information collection. We sought to design a touch-tablet asthma questionnaire for use in the clinic waiting room and to describe patient preferences for the content of such a questionnaire.
Methods: We created a questionnaire prototype based on best evidence and employed rapid-cycle design (semi-structured focus group testing; analysis; corresponding modifications and re-testing) with asthma patients aged ≥16 years. We analyzed transcripts using deductive and inductive content analysis. Quantitative measures included Likert-scale questions and questionnaire completion times.
Results: There were 20 participants across five focus groups (15/20 (75%) female, age 49.1 ± 15.6 years). Content-related themes included: 1) comprehensibility (language) (how questionnaire language affected ease and accuracy of comprehension) and b) information collection (issues arising during information collection in the following identified subthemes: personal asthma symptoms and triggers; asthma control; asthma medications and contact information). Average questionnaire completion time was 11.7 ± 5.9 min. Summative Likert scale responses suggested high levels of question comprehension and confidence with responses.
Conclusions: Our analysis provides novel insight about how best to formulate and present asthma-related content in an electronic questionnaire. Such questionnaires might facilitate quality improvement by improving efficiency of data collection, enabling better assessment of asthma control and medication adherence, and personalization of asthma action plans. Future studies should measure real-world uptake of such a questionnaire and impact on care.
Keywords: Asthma; asthma action plans; eHealth; quality improvement; surveys and questionnaires.