Patients’ experiences with commercially available activity trackers embedded in physiotherapy treatment: a qualitative study

<p><b>Aim:</b> The aim of this study was to describe the experience with commercially available activity trackers embedded in the physiotherapy treatment of patients with a chronic disease.</p> <p><b>Methods:</b> In a qualitative study, 29 participants with a chronic disease participated. They wore an activity tracker for two to eight weeks. Data were collected using 23 interviews and discussion with 6 participants. A framework analysis was used to analyze the data.</p> <p><b>Results:</b> The framework analysis resulted in seven categories: purchase, instruction, characteristics, correct functioning, sharing data, privacy, use, and interest in feedback. The standard goal of the activity trackers was experienced as too high, however the tracker still motivated them to be more active. Participants would have liked more guidance from their physiotherapists because they experienced the trackers as complex. Participants experienced some technical failures, are willing to share data with their physiotherapist and, want to spend a maximum of €50,-.</p> <p><b>Conclusion:</b> The developed framework gives insight into all important concepts from the experiences reported by patients with a chronic disease and can be used to guide further research and practice. Patients with a chronic disease were positive regarding activity trackers in general. When embedded in physiotherapy, more attention should be paid to the integration in treatment.Implications for rehabilitation</p><p>Activity trackers are perceived by patients with a chronic disease, as motivating them to be more physically active and to reach daily activity goals.</p><p>The standard goal of 10.000 steps of the activity trackers is often perceived as too high, patients with a chronic disease would like to make a personal activity goal together with their physiotherapist.</p><p>Patients with a chronic disease experience commercially available activity trackers often as too complex for their technical skills, they would like more guidance from their physiotherapist about the use and interpretation of an activity tracker.</p><p></p> <p>Activity trackers are perceived by patients with a chronic disease, as motivating them to be more physically active and to reach daily activity goals.</p> <p>The standard goal of 10.000 steps of the activity trackers is often perceived as too high, patients with a chronic disease would like to make a personal activity goal together with their physiotherapist.</p> <p>Patients with a chronic disease experience commercially available activity trackers often as too complex for their technical skills, they would like more guidance from their physiotherapist about the use and interpretation of an activity tracker.</p>