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01.12.2019 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2019 Open Access

BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 1/2019

How to improve eRehabilitation programs in stroke care? A focus group study to identify requirements of end-users

BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making > Ausgabe 1/2019
Manon Wentink, L. van Bodegom-Vos, B. Brouns, H. Arwert, S. Houdijk, P. Kewalbansing, L. Boyce, T. Vliet Vlieland, A. de Kloet, J. Meesters
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A user-centered design approach for eHealth interventions improves their effectiveness in stroke rehabilitation. Nevertheless, insight into requirements of end-users (patients/informal caregivers and/or health professionals) for eRehabilitation is lacking. The aim of this study was to identify end-user requirements for a comprehensive eHealth program in stroke rehabilitation.


Eight focus groups were conducted to identify user requirements; six with patients/informal caregivers and two with health professionals involved in stroke rehabilitation (rehabilitation physicians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, team coordinators, speech therapist). The focus groups were audiotaped and transcribed in full. Direct content analysis was used to identify the end-user requirements for stroke eHealth interventions concerning three categories: accessibility, usability and content.


In total, 45 requirements for the accessibility, usability and content of a stroke eRehabilitation program emerged from the focus groups. Most requirements concerned content (27 requirements), followed by usability (12 requirements) and accessibility (6 requirements). Patients/informal caregivers and health professionals each identified 37 requirements, respectively, with 29 of them overlapping.


Requirements between stroke patients/informal caregivers and health professionals differed on several aspects. Therefore, involving the perspectives of all end users in the design process of stroke eRehabilitation programs is needed to achieve a user-centered design.

Trial registration

The study was approved by the Medical Ethical Review Board of the Leiden University Medical Center [P15.281].
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