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Body-Worn Sensors in Parkinson's Disease: Evaluating Their Acceptability to Patients

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BACKGROUND: Remote monitoring of symptoms in Parkinson's disease (PD) using body-worn sensors would assist treatment decisions and evaluation of new treatments. To date, a rigorous, systematic evaluation of the acceptability of body-worn sensors in PD has not been undertaken. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thirty-four participants wore bilateral wrist-worn sensors for 4?h in a research facility and then for 1 week at home. Participants' experiences of wearing the sensors were evaluated using a Likert-style questionnaire after each phase. Qualitative data were collected through free-text responses. Differences in responses between phases were assessed by using the Wilcoxon rank-sum test. Content analysis of qualitative data was undertaken. "Non-wear time" was estimated via analysis of accelerometer data for periods when sensors were stationary. RESULTS: After prolonged wearing there was a negative shift in participants' views on the comfort of the sensor; problems with the sensor's strap were highlighted. However, accelerometer data demonstrated high patient concordance with wearing of the sensors. There was no evidence that participants were less likely to wear the sensors in public. Most participants preferred wearing the sensors to completing symptom diaries. CONCLUSIONS: The finding that participants were not less likely to wear the sensors in public provides reassurance regarding the ecological validity of the data captured. The validity of our findings was strengthened by "triangulation" of data sources, enabling patients to express their agenda and repeated assessment after prolonged wearing. Long-term monitoring with wrist-worn sensors is acceptable to this cohort of PD patients. Evaluation of the wearer's experience is critical to the development of remote monitoring technology.

Acceptance Date Mar 26, 2015
Publication Date Jan 1, 2016
Journal Telemedicine and e-Health
Print ISSN 1530-5627
Publisher Mary Ann Liebert
Pages 63 -69
Keywords Parkinson's disease, body-worn sensors, home monitoring
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