Developing ASSISTwell, a tablet application to support older adult's self-management of symptoms of chronic conditions

Cynthia Jacelon, Raeann LeBlanc, Mohammad Alkhawaldeh, John Ridgway, Jenna Marquard, Jeung Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objectives To develop ASSISTwell, a theoretically based tablet application designed specifically for older individuals' self-management of symptoms of multiple chronic conditions. Methods The development process used a participatory approach including five steps: gerontologic nurses developing use cases, development of a prototype, demonstrating the prototype to focus groups of older individuals and registered nurses to obtain feedback and recommendations, and programing a beta version of ASSISTwell. Results Focus group participants commented on the utility of the program, likely users, the user interface, and design features. Their comments informed the development of the beta version of ASSISTwell. ASSISTwell includes provisions for self-management of health, attitude, autonomy, activity, and relationships. The application is simple, clear, and has easy-to-read fonts and colors. It runs on Android devices and uses a functional approach to assist older individuals in self-management. Discussion Technological aids for self-management of symptoms of multiple chronic conditions are proliferating. However, most of these are for single diagnoses, are heavily focused on surveillance by healthcare providers, and not specifically designed for use by older individuals. Using a participatory approach to obtain early feedback from end users can improve the utility of computer applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-28
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research and manuscript were partially supported by a seed grant from the College of Nursing, University of Massachusetts. Additional funding came from the National Institute of Nursing Research of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number P20NR016599. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, International Society for Gerontechnology.


  • Multiple chronic conditions
  • Older adults
  • Self-management
  • Technology


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