Pack Health is scheduled to present findings this week at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Convergence 2020 Virtual Conference for the poster entitled, Rheumatoid Arthritis Patient Phenotypes from a Digital Health Coaching Engagement Program.
Digital Health Coaching Engagement for Individuals Living with RA
An estimated 54.4 million US adults are living with some form of arthritis, accounting for approximately 23% of the total population . Digital health interventions are emerging as a support strategy within the rheumatoid arthritis (RA) space. These interventions aim to meet the individual needs of patients in an accessible and affordable way, and they have shown to have a positive impact on physical activity and behavioral change outcomes. However, patient engagement with digital interventions is a significant, yet unexplored, concept that can influence uptake and efficacy in the rheumatoid arthritis population.
Aim and Results
The goal of this study was to determine if the health characteristics of RA patients would influence engagement level with a digital health coaching program. Rather than defining engagement benchmarks, this study examined user engagement and demographics using a cluster analysis approach.
An analysis was conducted using a sample of RA members enrolled in Pack Health’s digital health coaching program (n=66). Analysis included hierarchical clustering-based RA severity, quality of life, and a variety of engagement metrics between Health Advisors and participants during their 12-week digital coaching program.
Findings and Discussion
In total, three clusters were identified:
- Cluster 1: Participants with moderate RA, poor QoL, and high engagement
- This cluster can be characterized as moderate to severe, with Rapid 3 scores of a little over 4, and below average mental and physical health
- This highly engaged cluster averaged 11.29 calls out of 12, along with the highest volume of total text messages at over 57 text messages
- Cluster 2: Participants with better health but lower engagement than Cluster 1
- This cluster had low RA severity with an Average Rapid 3 score of 2.61 and above average mental health (52.49). Cluster 2 averaged 8.48 calls along with 16.3 total text messages.
- Cluster 3: Participants with the most severe RA with an average Rapid 3 score of 4.9.
- This minimally engaged cluster averaged 3 calls and 15 total text messages over the 12 weeks.
While recognizing a limited sample size, study results indicate distinct patterns of engagement among RA patients with varying health characteristics and disease severity. Patients with moderate RA had the highest engagement with digital health coaching and thus may receive the greatest benefit from digital health coaching programs. Patients with severe RA may require a more tailored digital solution specific to their needs and circumstances. Future studies should include adoption barriers and facilitators of digital health solutions within the severe RA population.