Feasibility of a Home-Based Tablet App for Dexterity Training in Multiple Sclerosis: Usability Study

van Beek, Judith Jantine Willemijn; van Wegen, Erwin Everardus Henri; Rietberg, Marc Berend; Nyffeler, Thomas; Bohlhalter, Stephan; Kamm, Christian Philipp; Nef, Tobias; Vanbellingen, Tim (2020). Feasibility of a Home-Based Tablet App for Dexterity Training in Multiple Sclerosis: Usability Study. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 8(6), e18204. JMIR Publications 10.2196/18204

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Background: Persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) often experience dexterous difficulties during the performance of activities of daily living, such as fastening buttons, handling coins, or writing, therefore impacting their health-related quality of life. Mobile health (mHealth) solutions, such as tablet apps, may be used to train impaired dexterous skills. The feasibility of a tablet app–based dexterity home-based intervention in MS (TAD-MS) has not been explored yet in persons with MS.

Objective: The aim of this pilot study was to evaluate the feasibility and usability of home-based dexterity training with a tablet app in both persons with MS and healthy subjects.

Methods: A total of 9 persons with MS, aged 35-71 years, with an Expanded Disability Status Scale score between 2 and 7.5, performed the TAD-MS for 4 weeks, five times a week, with each training session lasting approximately 30 minutes. Participants’ impaired dexterity was measured by the Nine-Hole Peg Test. A total of 10 age-matched healthy subjects also tested and rated the usability of the app. Outcome measures were the adherence rate as well as usability measured by the System Usability Scale and a Custom User Engagement Questionnaire (CUEQ).

Results: High feasibility of the tablet app–based dexterity training program was shown by a 97% adherence rate to the training protocol (ie, mean 19.4/20 sessions completed, SD 0.8). High system usability scores (ie, mean 85.39%, SD 11.67) and overall high scores given in the CUEQ (ie, mean 8.2/10, SD 1.4) further point to high usability of the app. Neither demographic variables nor dexterity levels affected the use of the app.

Conclusions: This pilot study is the first to demonstrate high feasibility and usability of a new tablet app–based dexterity home-based training program among both persons with MS and healthy individuals. Whether this kind of training improves dexterity will need to be evaluated in a randomized controlled trial.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


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04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR) > DCR Unit Sahli Building > Forschungsgruppe Neurologie
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04 Faculty of Medicine > Faculty Institutions > Teaching Staff, Faculty of Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology
10 Strategic Research Centers > ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research
10 Strategic Research Centers > ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research > ARTORG Center - Gerontechnology and Rehabilitation

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Health Sciences (GHS)

UniBE Contributor:

van Beek, Judith Jantine Willemijn, Nyffeler, Thomas, Bohlhalter, Stephan, Kamm, Christian Philipp, Nef, Tobias, Vanbellingen, Tim


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology




JMIR Publications




Angela Amira Botros

Date Deposited:

16 Jul 2020 08:40

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:39

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:






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