Objective: To explore the views of adult patients on AAI design.
Methods: Thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews with 30 adult patients prescribed AAIs. Discussion was facilitated by a variety of AAI models (both commercially available and prototypes)
Results: All participants spoke spontaneously about the size of the device, they wanted it to be portable without needing a bag. Many favoured a smaller device, but others were tolerant of bulky designs and the inconvenience associated, because of the 'lifesaving' characteristics of their AAI. The increased size of some recent products on the market were not welcomed. However significantly smaller designs were not necessarly perceived as preferable because of the potential difficulties of locating them in an emergency. Some argued for greater visibility achieved by bright colouration, others found bright colours 'frightening' or attracting unwanted attention to the fact that they carried and AAI. Grey was considered an undesirable colour ('Grey is quite depressing'). Patients wanted instructions that were brief, simple and made full use of illustrations. Middle aged respondents commented on the need for adequate font size, while younger people recognised that if without their reading glasses bystanders assistance could be impaired through existing presentation styles. Integrated instructions on devices, that were intuitive to use, and 'not fiddly' needed to be prioritised. Consistency was requested; it was recognised that the different ways of highlighting the safety cap on some devices and the needle end on others was potentially confusing. A strong and resilient protective casing was thought to be mandatory, several respondents described casings deteriorating before the AAI expiry date. Several novel design features were suggested by the patients based on many years of experience.
Conclusions: Size and aesthetics of were two of the most important AAI design issues for patients. Greater involvement of patients in the development of new AAIs (patient centered design) could potentially increase the carriage of devices. This is important because however good the ballistic characteristics are of any device, the patient cannot benefit from this technology unless the AAI is carried, and utilised when needed.