Pilot evaluation of PrEP EmERGE: A novel digital health innovation designed to support sexual health clinics and HIV‐PrEP users

Colin Fitzpatrick, Daniel Richardson, Nigel Sherriff, Jennifer Whetham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: We aimed to evaluate the usability and acceptability of a co-designed
mobile health (mHealth) application (PrEP-EmERGE) within a digital health
pathway to support HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study to evaluate the usability and acceptability
of the PrEP-EmERGE app. Data were collected via an online survey sent
to all PrEP EmERGE users in September 2021. Usability was assessed with a
validated usability tool, the System Usability Scale (SUS). Acceptability was
assessed using modified patient-reported experience measures (PREMs). Quantitative
data were analysed using descriptive and/or inferential statistics and
qualitative data (free text responses) using thematic analysis.
Results: In total, 81/133 (61%) active PrEP EmERGE users completed the
online survey, which was available directly from their PrEP EmERGE app:
78/81 (96%) identified as cis-male, 74/81 (91%) reported their ethnicity as
‘white’, 69/81 (85%) reported daily PrEP use, 7/81 (9%) reported using an
event-based dosing schedule, and 5/81 (6%) were switching between dosing
schedules. Overall, the median SUS score was 78/100 (interquartile range: 70–
92). There were no differences in median SUS scores by PrEP dosing schedules
(p = 0.78) or months of experience of using the app (p = 0.31). Overall, 73/81
(90%) would recommend the PrEP EmERGE app to a friend and 78/81 (96%)
rated their satisfaction of the app as excellent, good or satisfactory. The free
text responses generated three key themes: accessibility (for results and information);
autonomy [taking responsibility for their (sexual) health] and functionality
(including technical recommendations for app development and the
digital health pathway).
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
JournalHiv medicine
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sep 2022

Keywords

  • mHealth
  • HIV
  • pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)

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