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Child Care Health Dev ; 48(6): 1062-1070, 2022 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1807035


AIMS: Parents of children with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) often struggle with the all-consuming nature of the demands of caring for a child with substantial physical needs. Our aim was to explore experiences, challenges and needs of parents of a child with SMA in a COVID-19 pandemic situation. METHOD: Nineteen parents of 21 children (15 months to 13 years of age) with SMA types 1-3 participated in semi-structured interviews in June to July 2020. The interviews were analysed using inductive thematic analysis. RESULTS: Parents mentioned the protection of the health and well-being of the child as the central perspective and driving force during the COVID-19 pandemic. Three subthemes were identified: (1) responsibility, (2) balancing vulnerability and resilience and (3) (in)security. Some parents focused on the positive aspects during the lockdown, such as continuation of nusinersen treatment and family life. Some parents described helpful and positive cognitions to cope with the situation. In general, parents described a need for information with regard to COVID-19 and their child with SMA and a need for discussing their dilemmas and insecurities with a healthcare professional. INTERPRETATION: Parents put the health and well-being of their children first during the pandemic. From this study, we learned that parents of children with SMA need information and value direct contact with a healthcare professional to share their dilemmas and insecurities. The dialogue can help to empower parents in the conflicts and decisions they have to make during a pandemic.

COVID-19 , Muscular Atrophy, Spinal , Child , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Muscular Atrophy, Spinal/therapy , Pandemics , Parents
J Med Internet Res ; 23(9): e28766, 2021 09 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1443964


Despite recent and potent technological advances, the real-world implementation of remote digital health technology in the care and monitoring of patients with motor neuron disease has not yet been realized. Digital health technology may increase the accessibility to and personalization of care, whereas remote biosensors could optimize the collection of vital clinical parameters, irrespective of patients' ability to visit the clinic. To facilitate the wide-scale adoption of digital health care technology and to align current initiatives, we outline a road map that will identify clinically relevant digital parameters; mediate the development of benefit-to-burden criteria for innovative technology; and direct the validation, harmonization, and adoption of digital health care technology in real-world settings. We define two key end products of the road map: (1) a set of reliable digital parameters to capture data collected under free-living conditions that reflect patient-centric measures and facilitate clinical decision making and (2) an integrated, open-source system that provides personalized feedback to patients, health care providers, clinical researchers, and caregivers and is linked to a flexible and adaptable platform that integrates patient data in real time. Given the ever-changing care needs of patients and the relentless progression rate of motor neuron disease, the adoption of digital health care technology will significantly benefit the delivery of care and accelerate the development of effective treatments.

Motor Neuron Disease , Biomedical Technology , Caregivers , Health Personnel , Humans , Motor Neuron Disease/diagnosis , Motor Neuron Disease/therapy , Technology