Comput Methods Programs Biomed - Gquest: modeling patient questionnaires and administering them through a mobile platform application.


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CKGROUND: The use of surveys is becoming popular in the health care industry for acquiring information useful to the accomplishment of several studies. Besides their exploitation on a large scale for conducting epidemiological studies, surveys are being increasingly carried out on a narrower perspective through the administration of questionnaires aimed at assessing the quality of life perceived by patients or their clinical status during mid- or long-term treatments. This is useful for managing resources or optimizing and individualizing treatments.OBJECTIVES: This paper describes Gquest, a platform for modeling, generating and administering questionnaires through mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. Gquest was motivated by the need of administering questionnaires during home treatments, albeit its applicability is rather general. The main requirement was to have a very simple, clean and easy to use platform able to support (a) physicians in the design and delivery of questionnaires and (b) outpatients in sending self-recorded outcomes to the clinical staff.METHODS: Gquest has two basic components. The first one is a model devised for representing questionnaires which is extremely flexible. It allows the generation of questions and answers of different types, supports adaptivity in the dialog with the user and enforces simple consistency rules for checking his input. The second component is an application able to run instances of those questionnaires. It downloads questionnaires over the air in terms of XML files from a server and stores them locally into the mobile repository. Questionnaires become then available to the user, who in our case is a patient or one of his relatives. The user can select which one to fill-in, according to his needs and/or the specific treatment protocol. The selected questionnaire may be filled-in all at once or be completed in subsequent steps over time since any input provided is persisted on a local database. Finally, when a questionnaire is closed all the answers are transparently synchronized to a server for further evaluation or statistical purposes.RESULTS: The platform has been exploited and tested in two medical domains where questionnaires have very different purposes; a quality of life pilot survey involving patients with atrial fibrillation within the EU-funded project MobiGuide, and an investigation of the users' needs during the requirements elicitation phase of a telemedicine project for the safe discharge of fragile patients.CONCLUSIONS: Gquest proved to be a suitable tool for dealing with a wide variety of question types and has been positively accepted by the patients enrolled in the pilot study.

Resumo Limpo

ckground use survey becom popular health care industri acquir inform use accomplish sever studi besid exploit larg scale conduct epidemiolog studi survey increas carri narrow perspect administr questionnair aim assess qualiti life perceiv patient clinic status mid longterm treatment use manag resourc optim individu treatmentsobject paper describ gquest platform model generat administ questionnair mobil devic smartphon tablet gquest motiv need administ questionnair home treatment albeit applic rather general main requir simpl clean easi use platform abl support physician design deliveri questionnair b outpati send selfrecord outcom clinic staffmethod gquest two basic compon first one model devis repres questionnair extrem flexibl allow generat question answer differ type support adapt dialog user enforc simpl consist rule check input second compon applic abl run instanc questionnair download questionnair air term xml file server store local mobil repositori questionnair becom avail user case patient one relat user can select one fillin accord need andor specif treatment protocol select questionnair may filledin complet subsequ step time sinc input provid persist local databas final questionnair close answer transpar synchron server evalu statist purposesresult platform exploit test two medic domain questionnair differ purpos qualiti life pilot survey involv patient atrial fibril within eufund project mobiguid investig user need requir elicit phase telemedicin project safe discharg fragil patientsconclus gquest prove suitabl tool deal wide varieti question type posit accept patient enrol pilot studi

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