Patient and clinician experiences and opinions of the use of a novel home use medical device in the treatment of peripheral vascular disease - a qualitative study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionJournal of Foot and Ankle Research. 2021, 14 (61), . 10.1186/s13047-021-00496-2
Background Peripheral vascular diseases have a significant impact on functional quality of life. Previous research has demonstrated the complex, limiting and costly economic implications of these conditions such as lower limb ulceration chronicity and ischaemic amputation. These complex, limb and life threatening conditions demand the development of novel interventions with objective research as part of that development. Hence, a novel intermittent negative pressure medical device in the form of a wearable boot (FlowOx™) was developed. As part of the development process, this study aimed to explore patient and clinician opinions of the boot. Methods A qualitative approach was used to collect patient and clinician experiences in Norway. An advisory group informed the semi-structured questions used in seven patient interviews and one clinician focus group (n = 5). The data were recorded digitally and transcribed verbatim. Patient and clinician data were analysed as distinct groups using a thematic process. Results Data analysis resulted in five themes from the patients which gave insight into; the impact of the disease process; practicalities of using the boot, positive experiences of use; perceived outcomes; reflecting on use. Six themes were created from the clinicians. These gave insight into; ideal outcomes and how to measure them; ways to potentially use the boot; using research in healthcare; positives of the device; observed effects and next steps; potential improvements to the device. Conclusion This study provides insight into the experiences and opinions of FlowOx™. Patients and clinicians were positive about the device due to its ease of use. Those patients with peripheral arterial disease experienced significantly more benefit, especially for ischaemic ulceration than those with a chronic venous condition. Clinicians placed value on the patient reported outcomes in the treatment decision-making process. This preliminary study into experiences of FlowOx™ use provides valuable feedback that will inform design modification and ongoing research into implementation points and prospective user groups. FlowOx™ demonstrates potential as a conservative therapy offering users a convenient, home use, self-care management solution for improving symptomatic peripheral arterial disease and quality of life.