A mixed-methods study on the implementation of a mobile health application (mHealth app) for stroke caregivers in Malaysia: healthcare providers’ perspective

Norsima Nazifah Sidek, Tengku Alina Tengku Ismail, Sureshkumar Kamalakannan, Xin Wee Chen, Muhammad Hibatullah Romli, Mohamad Zarudin Mat Said, Iliatha Papachristou Nadal, Khairul Azmi Ibrahim, Kamarul Imran Musa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Recognizing the burden experienced by caregivers of stroke survivors, an intervention using mobile health applications (mHealth apps) has been proposed to support and empower stroke caregivers. This study aimed to assess the acceptability and expectations of healthcare providers, who play a vital role as gatekeepers in the healthcare system, to ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of the intervention.

Methods: This was a concurrent mixed-method study design, with healthcare providers involved in stroke care management in the northeast regions of Malaysia as study participants. The qualitative component of the study was conducted using a phenomenological approach that involved in-depth interviews to explore the acceptability and expectations of healthcare providers regarding the adoption of mHealth apps in the context of stroke caregiving. The study was complemented by quantitative data collected through an online survey using an adjusted version of the technology acceptance model tool.

Results: In total, 239 participants from diverse backgrounds and professions were enrolled in the study, with 12 in the qualitative component and 227 in the quantitative component. The findings from the quantitative survey showed that over 80% of the participants expressed their intention to use mHealth apps. The qualitative component generated two themes related to the acceptability and expectations of mHealth apps, which were integrated with the quantitative findings. Additionally, in-depth interviews revealed a new theme, namely the key features of mHealth, with three sub-themes: availability of services for caregivers, provision of knowledge skills, and supporting caregivers in managing stroke patients.

Conclusion: Healthcare providers demonstrated excellent acceptability of this mHealth intervention as part of caregiving assistance, particularly with the inclusion of essential key features. However, future investigations are necessary to establish the feasibility of integrating the mHealth app into the healthcare system and to ensure its long-term sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1222260
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2023

Cite this