JMIR Publications

JMIR Human Factors

Making health care interventions and technologies usable, safe, and effective

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Journal Description

JMIR Human Factors (JHF) is a PubMed-indexed, peer-reviewed sister journal of JMIR, a leading open access eHealth journal  (Impact Factor 2016: 5.175).
JMIR Human Factors is a multidisciplinary journal with contributions from medical researchers, engineers, and social scientists.
JMIR Human Factors focuses on understanding how the behaviour and thinking of humans can influence and shape the design of health care interventions and technologies, and how the design can be evaluated and improved to make health care interventions and technologies usable, safe, and effective. JHF aspires to lead health care towards a culture of testing and safety by promoting and publishing reports rigorously evaluating the usability and human factors aspects in health care, as well as encouraging the development and debate on new methods in this emerging field. 
All articles are professionally copyedited and typeset, ready for indexing in PubMed/PubMed Central. Possible contributions include usability studies and heuristic evaluations, studies concerning ergonomics and error prevention, design studies for medical devices and healthcare systems/workflows, enhancing teamwork through Human Factors based teamwork training, measuring non-technical skills in staff like leadership, communication, situational awareness and teamwork, and healthcare policies and procedures to reduce errors and increase safety. Reviews, viewpoint papers and tutorials are as welcome as original research.

Editorial Board members are currently being recruited, please contact us if you are interested (jmir.editorial.office at gmail.com).

 
 
 
 

Recent Articles:

  • Source: The Authors; Copyright: University of Applied Sciences Utrecht; URL: http://humanfactors.jmir.org/2017/3/e20/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Perceptions of Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Their Physiotherapists Regarding the Use of an eHealth Intervention

    Abstract:

    Background: If eHealth interventions are not used (properly), their potential benefits cannot be fulfilled. User perceptions of eHealth are an important determinant of its successful implementation. This study examined how patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and their physiotherapists (PHTs) value an eHealth self-management intervention following a period of use. Objective: The study aimed to evaluate the perceptions of COPD patients and their PHTs as eHealth users. Methods: In this study, an eHealth self-management intervention (website and mobile phone app) aimed at stimulating physical activity (PA) in COPD patients was evaluated by its users (patients and PHTs). As participants in a randomized controlled trial (RCT), they were asked how they valued the eHealth intervention after 6 months’ use. Interview requests were made to 33 PHTs from 26 participating practices, and a questionnaire was sent to 76 patients. The questionnaire was analyzed in Excel (Microsoft). The interviews with the PHTs and text messages (short message service, SMS) sent between patients and PHTs were transcribed and independently coded in MAXQDA 10 for Windows (VERBI GmbH). Results: A total of 60 patients with COPD filled out the questionnaire, and 24 PHTs were interviewed. The mobile phone app was used 89.0% (160.2/180 days) (standard deviation [SD] 18.5) of the time by patients; 53% (13/24) of PHTs reported low or no use. Patients scored the ease of use of the app 5.09 (SD 1.14) (on a 7-point scale). They found the presentation of the PA information in the app to be clear, insightful, and stimulating. All PHTs judged the website as explicit and user-friendly but had trouble devising a new PA goal for their patients. Patients mostly sent informative, neutral messages concerning the PA goal, and PHTs sent mostly motivating, positive messages concerning the PA goal. Messages were not perceived as supportive in reaching the PA goal according to the patients. Perceived usefulness of the intervention for the PHTs was the objective measurement of PA, the ability to see PA patterns over time, and the ability to use the intervention as a tool to give their patients insight into their PA. For patients, it was that the intervention supported them in increasing their PA and that it made them feel fitter. Barriers to use of the intervention according to the PHTs were time constraints and financial reasons. Seventy-nine percent (19/24) of the PHTs and 58% (35/60) of the patients mentioned they would be interested in using the intervention in the future. Conclusions: PHTs and COPD patients had positive feelings regarding the functionality and potential of the eHealth self-management intervention. This paper addresses a number of topics that may aid in the successful development and implementation of these types of eHealth interventions in the future.

  • Electronic Social Network Assessment Program (eSNAP). Source: Pixabay; Copyright: William Iven; URL: https://pixabay.com/en/ux-prototyping-design-webdesign-788002/; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    Development of the Electronic Social Network Assessment Program Using the Center for eHealth and Wellbeing Research Roadmap

    Abstract:

    Background: The number of Web-based psychological and behavioral interventions is growing. Beyond their theoretical underpinnings, a key factor to the success of these interventions is how they are designed and developed to ensure usability over a new method of delivery. Our team has adapted ecomapping, a tool for visualizing family caregiver social network resources, for the Web. Here, we describe how we designed and developed the electronic Social Network Assessment Program (eSNAP) Web-based tool using a framework of the Center for eHealth and Wellbeing Research (CeHRes) Roadmap for Web-based intervention development. The CeHRes Roadmap is still new in terms of tool development and we showcase an example of its application. Objective: The aim of our study was to provide an example of the application of the Web-based intervention development process using the CeHRes Roadmap for other research teams to follow. In doing so, we are also sharing our pilot work to enhance eSNAP’s acceptance and usability for users and the feasibility of its implementation. Methods: We describe the development of the eSNAP app to support family caregivers of neuro-oncology patients. This development is based on the 5 iterative stages of the CeHRes Roadmap: contextual inquiry, value specification, design, operationalization, and summative evaluation. Research activities to support eSNAP development prior to implementation included literature review, focus groups, and iterative rounds of interviews. Results: Key lessons learned in developing the eSNAP app broadly fell under a theme of translating theoretical needs and ideas to the real world. This included how to prioritize needs to be addressed at one time, how the modality of delivery may change design requirements, and how to develop a tool to fit within the context it will be used. Conclusions: Using the CeHRes Roadmap to develop Web-based interventions such as eSNAP helps to address potential issues by outlining important intervention development milestones. In addition, by encouraging inclusion of users and other stakeholders in the process, Web-based intervention developers using the Roadmap can identify what will work in the real world and increase feasibility and effectiveness.

  • Home hemodialysis device. Source: Wikimedia Commons; Copyright: BillpSea; URL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:HomeDialysisNxStage.jpg; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Remote Monitoring Systems for Chronic Patients on Home Hemodialysis: Field Test of a Copresence-Enhanced Design

    Abstract:

    Background: Patients undertaking long-term and chronic home hemodialysis (HHD) are subject to feelings of isolation and anxiety due to the absence of physical contact with their health care professionals and lack of feedback in regards to their dialysis treatments. Therefore, it is important for these patients to feel the “presence” of the health care professionals remotely while on hemodialysis at home for better compliance with the dialysis regime and to feel connected with health care professionals. Objective: This study presents an HHD system design for hemodialysis patients with features to enhance patient’s perceived “copresence” with their health care professionals. Various mechanisms to enhance this perception were designed and implemented, including digital logbooks, emotion sharing, and feedback tools. The mechanism in our HHD system aims to address the limitations associated with existing self-monitoring tools for HHD patients. Methods: A field trial involving 3 nurses and 74 patients was conducted to test the pilot implementation of the copresence design in our HHD system. Mixed method research was conducted to evaluate the system, including surveys, interviews, and analysis of system data. Results: Patients created 2757 entries of dialysis cases during the period of study. Altogether there were 492 entries submitted with “Very Happy” as the emotional status, 2167 entries with a “Happy” status, 56 entries with a “Neutral” status, 18 entries with an “Unhappy” status, and 24 entries with a “Very unhappy” status. Patients felt assured to share their emotions with health care professionals. Health care professionals were able to prioritize the review of the entries based on the emotional status and also felt assured to see patients’ change in mood. There were 989 entries sent with short notes. Entries with negative emotions had a higher percentage of supplementary notes entered compared to the entries with positive and neutral emotions. The qualitative data further showed that the HHD system was able to improve patients’ feelings of being connected with their health care professionals and thus enhance their self-care on HHD. The health care professionals felt better assured with patients’ status with the use of the system and reported improved productivity and satisfaction with the copresence enhancement mechanism. The survey on the system usability indicated a high level of satisfaction among patients and nurses. Conclusions: The copresence enhancement design complements the conventional use of a digitized HHD logbook and will further benefit the design of future telehealth systems.

  • Source: Image created by the authors; Copyright: The authors; URL: http://humanfactors.jmir.org/2017/3/e22/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Usability of a Culturally Informed mHealth Intervention for Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression: Feedback From Young Sexual Minority Men

    Abstract:

    Background: To date, we are aware of no interventions for anxiety and depression developed as mobile phone apps and tailored to young sexual minority men, a group especially at risk of anxiety and depression. We developed TODAY!, a culturally informed mobile phone intervention for young men who are attracted to men and who have clinically significant symptoms of anxiety or depression. The core of the intervention consists of daily psychoeducation informed by transdiagnostic cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and a set of tools to facilitate putting these concepts into action, with regular mood ratings that result in tailored feedback (eg, tips for current distress and visualizations of mood by context). Objective: The aim of this study was to conduct usability testing to understand how young sexual minority men interact with the app, to inform later stages of intervention development. Methods: Participants (n=9) were young sexual minority men aged 18-20 years (Mean=19.00, standard deviation [SD]=0.71; 44% black, 44% white, and 11.1% Latino), who endorsed at least mild depression and anxiety symptoms. Participants were recruited via flyers, emails to college lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) organizations, Web-based advertisements, another researcher’s database of sexual minority youth interested in research participation, and word of mouth. During recorded interviews, participants were asked to think out loud while interacting with the TODAY! app on a mobile phone or with paper prototypes. Feedback identified from these recordings and from associated field notes were subjected to thematic analysis using a general inductive approach. To aid interpretation of results, methods and results are reported according to the consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research (COREQ). Results: Thematic analysis of usability feedback revealed a theme of general positive feedback, as well as six recurring themes that informed continued development: (1) functionality (eg, highlight new material when available), (2) personalization (eg, more tailored feedback), (3) presentation (eg, keep content brief), (4) aesthetics (eg, use brighter colors), (5) LGBT or youth content (eg, add content about coming out), and (6) barriers to use (eg, perceiving psychoeducation as homework). Conclusions: Feedback from usability testing was vital to understanding what young sexual minority men desire from a mobile phone intervention for symptoms of anxiety and depression and was used to inform the ongoing development of such an intervention.

  • Thought Challenger. Source: The authors; Copyright: Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies (CBITs), Northwestern University; URL: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=edu.northwestern.cbits.intellicare.thoughtchallenger&hl=en; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Exploring User Learnability and Learning Performance in an App for Depression: Usability Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Mental health apps tend to be narrow in their functioning, with their focus mostly being on tracking, management, or psychoeducation. It is unclear what capability such apps have to facilitate a change in users, particularly in terms of learning key constructs relating to behavioral interventions. Thought Challenger (CBITs, Chicago) is a skill-building app that engages users in cognitive restructuring, a core component of cognitive therapy (CT) for depression. Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the learnability and learning performance of users following initial use of Thought Challenger. Methods: Twenty adults completed in-lab usability testing of Thought Challenger, which comprised two interactions with the app. Learnability was measured via completion times, error rates, and psychologist ratings of user entries in the app; learning performance was measured via a test of CT knowledge and skills. Nonparametric tests were conducted to evaluate the difference between individuals with no or mild depression to those with moderate to severe depression, as well as differences in completion times and pre- and posttests. Results: Across the two interactions, the majority of completion times were found to be acceptable (5 min or less), with minimal errors (1.2%, 10/840) and successful completion of CT thought records. Furthermore, CT knowledge and skills significantly improved after the initial use of Thought Challenger (P=.009). Conclusions: The learning objectives for Thought Challenger during initial uses were successfully met in an evaluation with likely end users. The findings therefore suggest that apps are capable of providing users with opportunities for learning of intervention skills.

  • An image of Missouri Cancer Registry and Research Center (MCR-ARC) and the Area-Profile and Double-Map published InstantAtlas Reports. Source: Image created by the authors; Copyright: The authors; URL: http://humanfactors.jmir.org/2017/3/e19/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Usability Assessment of the Missouri Cancer Registry’s Published Interactive Mapping Reports: Round One

    Abstract:

    Background:  Many users of spatial data have difficulty interpreting information in health-related spatial reports. The Missouri Cancer Registry and Research Center (MCR-ARC) has produced interactive reports for several years. These reports have never been tested for usability. Objective:  The aims of this study were to: (1) conduct a multi-approach usability testing study to understand ease of use (user friendliness) and user satisfaction; and (2) evaluate the usability of MCR-ARC’s published InstantAtlas reports. Methods:   An institutional review board (IRB) approved mixed methodology usability testing study using a convenience sample of health professionals. A recruiting email was sent to faculty in the Master of Public Health program and to faculty and staff in the Department of Health Management and Informatics at the University of Missouri-Columbia. The study included 7 participants. The test included a pretest questionnaire, a multi-task usability test, and the System Usability Scale (SUS). Also, the researchers collected participants’ comments about the tested maps immediately after every trial. Software was used to record the computer screen during the trial and the participants’ spoken comments. Several performance and usability metrics were measured to evaluate the usability of MCR-ARC’s published mapping reports. Results: Of the 10 assigned tasks, 6 reached a 100% completion success rate, and this outcome was relative to the complexity of the tasks. The simple tasks were handled more efficiently than the complicated tasks. The SUS score ranged between 20-100 points, with an average of 62.7 points and a median of 50.5 points. The tested maps’ effectiveness outcomes were better than the efficiency and satisfaction outcomes. There was a statistically significant relationship between the subjects’ performance on the study test and the users’ previous experience with geographic information system (GIS) tools (P=.03). There were no statistically significant relationships between users’ performance and satisfaction and their education level, work type, or previous experience in health care (P>.05). There were strong positive correlations between the three measured usability elements. Conclusions: The tested maps should undergo an extensive refining and updating to overcome all the discovered usability issues and meet the perspectives and needs of the tested maps’ potential users. The study results might convey the perspectives of academic health professionals toward GIS health data. We need to conduct a second-round usability study with public health practitioners and cancer professionals who use GIS tools on a routine basis. Usability testing should be conducted before and after releasing MCR-ARC’s maps in the future.

  • MyPrescribe user interface (montage). Source: The Authors / Placeit.net; Copyright: JMIR Publications; URL: http://humanfactors.jmir.org/2017/3/e17; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    A Technological Innovation to Reduce Prescribing Errors Based on Implementation Intentions: The Acceptability and Feasibility of MyPrescribe

    Abstract:

    Background: Although prescribing of medication in hospitals is rarely an error-free process, prescribers receive little feedback on their mistakes and ways to change future practices. Audit and feedback interventions may be an effective approach to modifying the clinical practice of health professionals, but these may pose logistical challenges when used in hospitals. Moreover, such interventions are often labor intensive. Consequently, there is a need to develop effective and innovative interventions to overcome these challenges and to improve the delivery of feedback on prescribing. Implementation intentions, which have been shown to be effective in changing behavior, link critical situations with an appropriate response; however, these have rarely been used in the context of improving prescribing practices. Objective: Semistructured qualitative interviews were conducted to evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of providing feedback on prescribing errors via MyPrescribe, a mobile-compatible website informed by implementation intentions. Methods: Data relating to 200 prescribing errors made by 52 junior doctors were collected by 11 hospital pharmacists. These errors were populated into MyPrescribe, where prescribers were able to construct their own personalized action plans. Qualitative interviews with a subsample of 15 junior doctors were used to explore issues regarding feasibility and acceptability of MyPrescribe and their experiences of using implementation intentions to construct prescribing action plans. Framework analysis was used to identify prominent themes, with findings mapped to the behavioral components of the COM-B model (capability, opportunity, motivation, and behavior) to inform the development of future interventions. Results: MyPrescribe was perceived to be effective in providing opportunities for critical reflection on prescribing errors and to complement existing training (such as junior doctors’ e-portfolio). The participants were able to provide examples of how they would use “If-Then” plans for patient management. Technology, as opposed to other methods of learning (eg, traditional “paper based” learning), was seen as a positive advancement for continued learning. Conclusions: MyPrescribe was perceived as an acceptable and feasible learning tool for changing prescribing practices, with participants suggesting that it would make an important addition to medical prescribers’ training in reflective practice. MyPrescribe is a novel theory-based technological innovation that provides the platform for doctors to create personalized implementation intentions. Applying the COM-B model allows for a more detailed understanding of the perceived mechanisms behind prescribing practices and the ways in which interventions aimed at changing professional practice can be implemented.

  • Source: Flickr; Copyright: Vic; URL: https://www.flickr.com/photos/59632563@N04/6104068209; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Modeling Patient Treatment With Medical Records: An Abstraction Hierarchy to Understand User Competencies and Needs

    Abstract:

    Background: Health care is a complex sociotechnical system. Patient treatment is evolving and needs to incorporate the use of technology and new patient-centered treatment paradigms. Cognitive work analysis (CWA) is an effective framework for understanding complex systems, and work domain analysis (WDA) is useful for understanding complex ecologies. Although previous applications of CWA have described patient treatment, due to their scope of work patients were previously characterized as biomedical machines, rather than patient actors involved in their own care. Objective: An abstraction hierarchy that characterizes patients as beings with complex social values and priorities is needed. This can help better understand treatment in a modern approach to care. The purpose of this study was to perform a WDA to represent the treatment of patients with medical records. Methods: The methods to develop this model included the analysis of written texts and collaboration with subject matter experts. Our WDA represents the ecology through its functional purposes, abstract functions, generalized functions, physical functions, and physical forms. Results: Compared with other work domain models, this model is able to articulate the nuanced balance between medical treatment, patient education, and limited health care resources. Concepts in the analysis were similar to the modeling choices of other WDAs but combined them in as a comprehensive, systematic, and contextual overview. The model is helpful to understand user competencies and needs. Future models could be developed to model the patient’s domain and enable the exploration of the shared decision-making (SDM) paradigm. Conclusion: Our work domain model links treatment goals, decision-making constraints, and task workflows. This model can be used by system developers who would like to use ecological interface design (EID) to improve systems. Our hierarchy is the first in a future set that could explore new treatment paradigms. Future hierarchies could model the patient as a controller and could be useful for mobile app development.

  • Zoom in/out feature to manipulate 3D models to facilitate gaining a better understanding of the clinical guidance. Source: Figure 8 from https://humanfactors.jmir.org/2017/2/e15; Copyright: the authors; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Fall Prevention Self-Assessments Via Mobile 3D Visualization Technologies: Community Dwelling Older Adults’ Perceptions of Opportunities and Challenges

    Abstract:

    Background: In the field of occupational therapy, the assistive equipment provision process (AEPP) is a prominent preventive strategy used to promote independent living and to identify and alleviate fall risk factors via the provision of assistive equipment within the home environment. Current practice involves the use of paper-based forms that include 2D measurement guidance diagrams that aim to communicate the precise points and dimensions that must be measured in order to make AEPP assessments. There are, however, issues such as “poor fit” of equipment due to inaccurate measurements taken and recorded, resulting in more than 50% of equipment installed within the home being abandoned by patients. This paper presents a novel 3D measurement aid prototype (3D-MAP) that provides enhanced measurement and assessment guidance to patients via the use of 3D visualization technologies. Objective: The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of older adults with regard to the barriers and opportunities of using the 3D-MAP application as a tool that enables patient self-delivery of the AEPP. Methods: Thirty-three community-dwelling older adults participated in interactive sessions with a bespoke 3D-MAP application utilizing the retrospective think-aloud protocol and semistructured focus group discussions. The system usability scale (SUS) questionnaire was used to evaluate the application’s usability. Thematic template analysis was carried out on the SUS item discussions, think-aloud, and semistructured focus group data. Results: The quantitative SUS results revealed that the application may be described as having “marginal-high” and “good” levels of usability, along with strong agreement with items relating to the usability (P=.004) and learnability (P<.001) of the application. Four high-level themes emerged from think-aloud and focus groups discussions: (1) perceived usefulness (PU), (2) perceived ease of use (PEOU), (3) application use (AU) and (4) self-assessment (SA). The application was seen as a useful tool to enhance visualization of measurement guidance and also to promote independent living, ownership of care, and potentially reduce waiting times. Several design and functionality recommendations emerged from the study, such as a need to manipulate the view and position of the 3D furniture models, and a need for clearer visual prompts and alternative keyboard interface for measurement entry. Conclusions: Participants perceived the 3D-MAP application as a useful tool that has the potential to make significant improvements to the AEPP, not only in terms of accuracy of measurement, but also by potentially enabling older adult patients to carry out the data collection element of the AEPP themselves. Further research is needed to further adapt the 3D-MAP application in line with the study outcomes and to establish its clinical utility with regards to effectiveness, efficiency, accuracy, and reliability of measurements that are recorded using the application and to compare it with 2D measurement guidance leaflets.

  • Patient and critical care clinicians. Source: Wikicommons; Copyright: Calleamanecer; URL: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Clinicians_in_Intensive_Care_Unit.jpg; License: Creative Commons Attribution + ShareAlike (CC-BY-SA).

    Iterative User Interface Design for Automated Sequential Organ Failure Assessment Score Calculator in Sepsis Detection

    Abstract:

    Background: The new sepsis definition has increased the need for frequent sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) score recalculation and the clerical burden of information retrieval makes this score ideal for automated calculation. Objective: The aim of this study was to (1) estimate the clerical workload of manual SOFA score calculation through a time-motion analysis and (2) describe a user-centered design process for an electronic medical record (EMR) integrated, automated SOFA score calculator with subsequent usability evaluation study. Methods: First, we performed a time-motion analysis by recording time-to-task-completion for the manual calculation of 35 baseline and 35 current SOFA scores by 14 internal medicine residents over a 2-month period. Next, we used an agile development process to create a user interface for a previously developed automated SOFA score calculator. The final user interface usability was evaluated by clinician end users with the Computer Systems Usability Questionnaire. Results: The overall mean (standard deviation, SD) time-to-complete manual SOFA score calculation time was 61.6 s (33). Among the 24% (12/50) usability survey respondents, our user-centered user interface design process resulted in >75% favorability of survey items in the domains of system usability, information quality, and interface quality. Conclusions: Early stakeholder engagement in our agile design process resulted in a user interface for an automated SOFA score calculator that reduced clinician workload and met clinicians’ needs at the point of care. Emerging interoperable platforms may facilitate dissemination of similarly useful clinical score calculators and decision support algorithms as “apps.” A user-centered design process and usability evaluation should be considered during creation of these tools.

  • Elderly couple with grandchildren. Source: Pixabay; Copyright: sylviebliss; URL: https://pixabay.com/en/grandparents-grandmother-people-1969824/; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    Tablet-Based Well-Being Check for the Elderly: Development and Evaluation of Usability and Acceptability

    Abstract:

    Background: Many elderly people prefer to live at home independently. One of the major concerns raised by the family members is the safety and well-being of their elderly family members when living independently in a home environment. To address this issue, assistive technology solutions have been available in the market. Despite their availability and proliferation, these types of solutions are not popular with the elderly due to their intrusive nature, privacy-related issues, social stigma, and fear of losing human interaction. This study shares the experience in the development of a digital photo frame system that helps family members to check the well-being of the elderly, exploiting their desire to remain socially connected. Objectives: The aim of this study was to iteratively design, implement, and assess the usability, user friendliness, and acceptability of a tablet-based system to check the well-being of the elderly. Methods: Our study methodology comprises three separate stages: initial system development, contextual assessment, and comparative case study evaluation. Results: In the first stage, requirements were elicited from the elderly to design a well-being check prototype. In the second stage, areas for improvements (eg, privacy features) were identified. Also, additional features (such as medication prompts or food reminders) were suggested to help aged and health care service providers with effective but subtle monitoring of the elderly. These would lower their operating cost by reducing visits by care providers to the homes of the elderly. In the third stage, the results highlighted the difference (between users in India and Australia) in the levels of familiarity of the elderly with this technology. Some elderly participants at the Kalyani Institute for Study, Planning and Action for Rural Change, India latched onto this technology quickly while a few refused to use the system. However, in all cases, the support of family members was crucial for their willingness to use the technology. Conclusions: This project has three major outcomes. First, a picture frame prototype was tested with the elderly to leverage the benefits of social communication. Second, the project helped us test and implement the “Silvercare” model for supporting the elderly through young retired people residing in the area. Finally, the project helped formalize the agile three-stage design methodology to develop information technology solutions for the elderly. Also, the project contributed to an ongoing European Union Project called Victoryahome, which involves more than 50 sites across 5 countries (Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Portugal, and Australia) to assess the use of telepresence robots, wearable fall detectors, and medication dispensers for the elderly living independently.

  • Source: Shutterstock; Copyright: Spectral-Design; URL: https://www.shutterstock.com/pt/image-photo/various-vegetables-smartphone-222857938; License: Licensed by the authors.

    A Web-Based Graphical Food Frequency Assessment System: Design, Development and Usability Metrics

    Abstract:

    Background: Food frequency questionnaires (FFQs) are well established in the nutrition field, but there remain important questions around how to develop online tools in a way that can facilitate wider uptake. Also, FFQ user acceptance and evaluation have not been investigated extensively. Objective: This paper presents a Web-based graphical food frequency assessment system that addresses challenges of reproducibility, scalability, mobile friendliness, security, and usability and also presents the utilization metrics and user feedback from a deployment study. Methods: The application design employs a single-page application Web architecture with back-end services (database, authentication, and authorization) provided by Google Firebase’s free plan. Its design and responsiveness take advantage of the Bootstrap framework. The FFQ was deployed in Kuwait as part of the EatWellQ8 study during 2016. The EatWellQ8 FFQ contains 146 food items (including drinks). Participants were recruited in Kuwait without financial incentive. Completion time was based on browser timestamps and usability was measured using the System Usability Scale (SUS), scoring between 0 and 100. Products with a SUS higher than 70 are considered to be good. Results: A total of 235 participants created accounts in the system, and 163 completed the FFQ. Of those 163 participants, 142 reported their gender (93 female, 49 male) and 144 reported their date of birth (mean age of 35 years, range from 18-65 years). The mean completion time for all FFQs (n=163), excluding periods of interruption, was 14.2 minutes (95% CI 13.3-15.1 minutes). Female participants (n=93) completed in 14.1 minutes (95% CI 12.9-15.3 minutes) and male participants (n=49) completed in 14.3 minutes (95% CI 12.6-15.9 minutes). Participants using laptops or desktops (n=69) completed the FFQ in an average of 13.9 minutes (95% CI 12.6-15.1 minutes) and participants using smartphones or tablets (n=91) completed in an average of 14.5 minutes (95% CI 13.2-15.8 minutes). The median SUS score (n=141) was 75.0 (interquartile range [IQR] 12.5), and 84% of the participants who completed the SUS classified the system either “good” (n=50) or “excellent” (n=69). Considering only participants using smartphones or tablets (n=80), the median score was 72.5 (IQR 12.5), slightly below the SUS median for desktops and laptops (n=58), which was 75.0 (IQR 12.5). No significant differences were found between genders or age groups (below and above the median) for the SUS or completion time. Conclusions: Taking into account all the requirements, the deployment used professional cloud computing at no cost, and the resulting system had good user acceptance. The results for smartphones/tablets were comparable with desktops/laptops. This work has potential to promote wider uptake of online tools that can assess dietary intake at scale.

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  • General Practitioners attitudes towards an online school-based mental health service: Implications for the design and delivery of youth e-mental health

    Date Submitted: Sep 7, 2017

    Open Peer Review Period: Sep 8, 2017 - Sep 22, 2017

    Background: Anxiety disorders and depression are prevalent among youth. General Practitioners (GPs) are often the first point of professional contact for treating health problems in young people. Inte...

    Background: Anxiety disorders and depression are prevalent among youth. General Practitioners (GPs) are often the first point of professional contact for treating health problems in young people. Internet mental health services delivered in partnerships with schools may facilitate increased access to psychological treatments among adolescents. However, for such models to be implemented successfully, GPs’ views of these services need to be measured. Objective: To examine the needs and attitudes of GPs towards an online mental health service for adolescents, and to identify the factors that may affect the provision of this type of model and likelihood of integration. Findings will inform the content and overall service design. Methods: GPs were interviewed individually about the proposed online mental health service. Qualitative analysis of transcripts was performed using thematic coding. Additionally, GPs completed a self-report demographic questionnaire. Results: 13 GPs participated in the interview and 11 completed the online questionnaire. Findings suggest strong support for the proposed online mental health service. A wide range of factors for the integration of internet-delivered care were proposed. Coordinated collaboration with parents, students, school counsellors, and other mental healthcare professionals was considered an important factor for inclusion by nearly all GPs. Confidence in online care, non-compliance of adolescents and GPs, access issues, privacy and confidentiality were identified as potential barriers to this type of model of care. Conclusions: GP attitudes towards the use of the internet for the monitoring and management of anxiety and depression in adolescents was found to be positive provided that a collaborative approach to care is used, the feedback regarding the client is clear, and privacy and security provisions are assured.

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