Elizabeth Donovan, Ph.D., Tara M. Cousineau, Ph.D., Jennie Tsao, PhD., Lonnie K. Zeltzer, MD., Subhadra Evans, PhD, Kayla McGowan, B.A., Meredith Watt
Aim and objectives:
To use an iterative, patient-centered approach to inform a beta version of a self-compassion and mindfulness-based mobile intervention for adolescents with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Twelve adolescents with IBS and 12 parents recruited from UCLA Pediatric Pain Program (PPP) and Whole Child LA, and twelve multi-disciplinary health care providers, including gastroenterologists, nutritionists, complementary and alternative medicine providers and mental health providers, participated in 60-minute in-depth interviews.
Design and Methodology:
Interview guides were designed to elicit information about functioning challenges and coping strategies, and to gather feedback about preliminary features to be included in a self-compassion and mindfulness-based mobile application. Thematic analysis informed coding and analysis of interview data.
The interview guides were informed by mindfulness based stress reduction (Kabat-Zinn, 2013) and self-compassion as described by (Neff, 2003a, 2003b).
Results of the in-depth interviews revealed six main themes around adolescents’ functioning, coping, and preferences for features to be included in a mindfulness and self-compassion based mobile-based intervention. Data from the interviews were incorporated into a demonstration version of the mobile app.
A patient-centered approach is widely recommended (Whittaker, Merry, Dorey & Maddison, 2012; Abroms, Whittaker, Free, Mendel Van Alstyne, Schindler Ruwisch, 2015) in the development of mobile-based health behavior change interventions. In our study, a range of key stakeholders contributed valuable insights that were incorporated into an intervention for adolescents struggling to manage IBS.