Feasibility Testing of Tubes@HOME: A Mobile Application to Support Family-Delivered Enteral Care

Hosp Pediatr. 2022 Jul 1;12(7):663-673. doi: 10.1542/hpeds.2022-006532.


Background: Assistance from medical devices is common for children with medical complexity (CMC) but introduces caregiving challenges. We tested the feasibility of "Tubes@HOME," a mobile application supporting CMC family-delivered care using enteral care as a model.

Methods: Caregivers of CMC with enteral tubes participated in a 30-day feasibility study of Tubes@HOME November 2020 through January 2021. Tubes@HOME was available on mobile devices and designed to support collaborative care and tracking over time. Key features include child profile, caregiving network management, care routines, feedback loop, and action plans. Care routines delineated nutrition, medication, and procedural tasks needed for the child: frequencies, completions, and reminders. Metadata summarized feature use among users. Feasibility was evaluated with postuse questionnaires and interviews. Measures of Tubes@HOME's usability and usefulness included the NASA Task Load Index (TLX), System Usability Scale (SUS), and Acceptability and Use of Technology Questionnaire (AUTQ).

Results: Among n = 30 children, there were 30 primary (eg, parent) and n = 22 nonprimary caregivers using Tubes@HOME. Children had a median (IQR) 10 (5.5-13) care routines created. For care routines created, 93% were marked complete at least once during the study period, with participants engaging with routines throughout study weeks 2 to 4. Results (mean [SD]) indicated low mental workload (TLX) 30.9 (12.2), good usability (SUS) 75.4 (14.7), and above-average usefulness (AUTQ) 4.0 (0.7) associated with Tubes@HOME, respectively. Interviews contextualized usefulness and suggested improvements.

Conclusions: Longitudinal use of Tubes@HOME among caregiving networks appeared feasible. Efficacy testing is needed, and outcomes could include reliability of care delivered in home and community.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Caregivers
  • Child
  • Family
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Mobile Applications*
  • Reproducibility of Results