Evaluation of E-Health Applications for Paediatric Patients with Refractory Epilepsy and Maintained on Ketogenic Diet

Nutrients. 2021 Apr 9;13(4):1240. doi: 10.3390/nu13041240.

ABSTRACT

E-health technologies improve healthcare quality and disease management. The aim of this study was to develop a ketogenic diet management app as well as a website about this dietary treatment and to evaluate the benefits of giving caregivers access to various web materials designed for paediatric patients with refractory epilepsy. Forty families participated in the questionnaire survey, from January 2016 to March 2016. All caregivers were exposed to paper-based materials about the ketogenic diet, whereas only 22 received the app, called KetApp, and videos produced by dieticians. Caregivers with free access to web materials were more satisfied than the others with the informative material provided by the centre (p ≤ 0.001, Mann-Whitney test). Indeed, they showed a better attitude towards treatment, and they became more aware of dietary management in comparison to the control group (p ≤ 0.001). Moreover, caregivers provided with web materials were stimulated to pursue the treatment (p = 0.002) and to introduce it to their children and other people (p = 0.001). Additionally, caregivers supplied with web materials were more willing to help other families in choosing the ketogenic diet (p = 0.004). Overall, these findings indicate that web materials are beneficial for caregivers of paediatric patients with refractory epilepsy in our centres. Thus, the use of e-health applications could be a promising tool in the daily aspects of ketogenic diet management, and it is especially of value in the attempt to start or maintain the diet during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

PMID:33918854 | PMC:PMC8069190 | DOI:10.3390/nu13041240

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