Participatory research design in mobile health: Tablet devices for diabetes self-management

Authors

  • Sally Jane Burford University of Canberra
  • Sora Park University of Canberra
  • Paresh Dawda Ochre Health Medical Centre
  • John Burns Ochre Health

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/cam.27120

Keywords:

democratic dialogic theory, mobile health, mobile tablet device, participatory design, type 2 diabetes

Abstract

Type 2 diabetes is a prevalent, chronic disease, which places significant burden on societies and individuals. This article reports the participatory research design of an exploratory study that introduces mobile tablet devices in the self-management of type 2 diabetes in a primary healthcare setting. Strategies from democratic dialogic theory were used in the design of the research to steer the participatory engagement between researchers and healthcare practitioners. The outcome of this phase of the research was the issue of six ‘invitations’ to 28 people with diabetes to frame their use of a mobile tablet device in managing their health. Those invitations were clustered in two themes, Empowered and Compelled, representing typical patient attitudes and behaviours. The work reported here sets the stage for a longitudinal and socially complex study that encompasses a new and comprehensive General Practitioner (GP) Super Clinic with an array of health and administrative staff, patients with a chronic health condition requiring continual self-management, a wide continuum of digital literacy capability in all participants and an ever-increasing digital society. It reports a novel research design methodology that merges democratic dialogic theory and participatory design, resulting in a grounded and agreed approach to a mobile health intervention.

Author Biographies

Sally Jane Burford, University of Canberra

Sally Burford is an associate Professor in knowledge and Information Studies in the faculty of arts and Design at the university of Canberra and teaches postgraduate coursework and research students. She is the associate Dean (Education) within the faculty. her current research is in digital mobility, in particular, mobile health and cross-channel information architecture. She is a member of the news and Media research Centre and the uC health research Institute.

Sora Park, University of Canberra

Sora Park is associate Professor in Communication and Media Studies at the university of Canberra, australia. her research focuses on digital media, media markets and media policy. She is an inaugural member of the news and Media research Centre and the uC health research Institute. She has written widely on the economics of television, newspaper markets and other information industries. She is also interested in media user patterns in various digital media environments, especially mobile health.

Paresh Dawda, Ochre Health Medical Centre

Paresh Dawda (MBBS, DrCOG, DfrSh, frCGP, fraCGP) is a General Practitioner, Senior research fellow at the australian Primary health Care research Institute (aPhCrI) and aCT Medical Director at Ochre health as well as adjunct associate Professor, university of Canberra. his research interests include chronic disease management, heart disease and mhealth.

John Burns, Ochre Health

John Burns is the CEO of Ochre health in australia and has 18 years’ health administration experience in the united States and australian health systems. he is an adjunct Professor at the university of Canberra and is developing a program to provide allied health and nurse students in their final year with skills that are required to work more effectively within integrated teams in primary care settings.

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Published

2016-11-07

How to Cite

Burford, S. J., Park, S., Dawda, P., & Burns, J. (2016). Participatory research design in mobile health: Tablet devices for diabetes self-management. Communication and Medicine, 12(2-3), 145–156. https://doi.org/10.1558/cam.27120