“IT’S TOO EXHAUSTING GOOGLING 50 THINGS!”: RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE LOW-FIDELITY DESIGN OF A CROWDSOURCED HEALTH INFORMATION SYSTEM WITH LOCAL HEALTH-RELATED RESOURCES FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE CHRONIC HEALTH CONDITIONS
St. Jean, Beth
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Individuals who have chronic health conditions often encounter considerable barriers when trying to find out about local resources in their communities (e.g. libraries, senior centers, fitness classes, nutrition services, faith-based services, support groups, etc.) that can help them better manage their health. In this dissertation, I outline a series of three studies investigating the acceptability and optimal content and design of an online health information system to streamline this information-seeking process with a crowdsourced repository of information of local health resources for this population. I initially conducted 15 in-depth semi-structured interviews to assess the strategies used, and the challenges faced, by these individuals in their attempts to identify these types of local resources in their communities (Chapter 2). The evidence from this first study suggested the potential for the uptake of a novel online health information system that will rely on users to crowdsource and maintain an up-to-date repository of information on relevant local health resources. Based on the results of my first study, I conducted a second study using a card-sorting method to determine the system functions and features, as well as the types of information, individuals who have chronic health conditions felt they would need in this type of system to find a useful local resource and then determine if that local resource would be useful for them (Chapter 3). Based on the results of this card-sorting study, I developed a series of low-fidelity wireframes representing the system features and functions and types of content my study 2 participants wished to see in the proposed crowdsourced health information system (CHIS). I then further refined these low-fidelity wireframes drawing on the findings from my third study in which I garnered direct feedback on the initial wireframes from individuals who have chronic health conditions in a series of participatory design sessions, enabling me to finalize the design recommendations for the proposed CHIS (Chapter 4). Finally, I conclude (Chapter 5) with an overview of the overarching contribution of this research, illuminating a crucial unmet information need and proposing an actionable strategy to better meet this need. I also propose opportunities for future research to further improve the uptake of the proposed CHIS.