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Understanding reactions to an internet-delivered health-care intervention: accommodating user preferences for information provision

Understanding reactions to an internet-delivered health-care intervention: accommodating user preferences for information provision
Understanding reactions to an internet-delivered health-care intervention: accommodating user preferences for information provision
Background: it is recognised as good practice to use qualitative methods to elicit users' views of internet-delivered health-care interventions during their development. This paper seeks to illustrate the advantages of combining usability testing with 'theoretical modelling', i.e. analyses that relate the findings of qualitative studies during intervention development to social science theory, in order to gain deeper insights into the reasons and context for how people respond to the intervention. This paper illustrates how usability testing may be enriched by theoretical modelling by means of two qualitative studies of users' views of the delivery of information in an internet-delivered intervention to help users decide whether they needed to seek medical care for their cold or flu symptoms.

Methods: in Study 1, 21 participants recruited from a city in southern England were asked to 'think aloud' while viewing draft web-pages presented in paper format. In Study 2, views of our prototype website were elicited, again using think aloud methods, in a sample of 26 participants purposively sampled for diversity in education levels. Both data-sets were analysed by thematic analysis.

Results: study 1 revealed that although the information provided by the draft web-pages had many of the intended empowering benefits, users often felt overwhelmed by the quantity of information. Relating these findings to theory and research on factors influencing preferences for information-seeking we hypothesised that to meet the needs of different users (especially those with lower literacy levels) our website should be designed to provide only essential personalised advice, but with options to access further information. Study 2 showed that our website design did prove accessible to users with different literacy levels. However, some users seemed to want still greater control over how information was accessed.

Conclusions: educational level need not be an insuperable barrier to appreciating web-based access to detailed health-related information, provided that users feel they can quickly gain access to the specific information they seek
[10pp]
Yardley, Lucy
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Morrison, Leanne G
920a4eda-0f9d-4bd9-842d-6873b1afafef
Andreou, Panayiota
d0ae755f-1c7f-40d6-ba69-9632f7954f4a
Joseph, Judith
d6b0dcec-cd05-4776-97e9-1d702d7f617b
Little, Paul
1bf2d1f7-200c-47a5-ab16-fe5a8756a777
Yardley, Lucy
64be42c4-511d-484d-abaa-f8813452a22e
Morrison, Leanne G
920a4eda-0f9d-4bd9-842d-6873b1afafef
Andreou, Panayiota
d0ae755f-1c7f-40d6-ba69-9632f7954f4a
Joseph, Judith
d6b0dcec-cd05-4776-97e9-1d702d7f617b
Little, Paul
1bf2d1f7-200c-47a5-ab16-fe5a8756a777

Yardley, Lucy, Morrison, Leanne G, Andreou, Panayiota, Joseph, Judith and Little, Paul (2010) Understanding reactions to an internet-delivered health-care intervention: accommodating user preferences for information provision. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 10 (52), [10pp]. (doi:10.1186/1472-6947-10-52). (PMID:20849599)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: it is recognised as good practice to use qualitative methods to elicit users' views of internet-delivered health-care interventions during their development. This paper seeks to illustrate the advantages of combining usability testing with 'theoretical modelling', i.e. analyses that relate the findings of qualitative studies during intervention development to social science theory, in order to gain deeper insights into the reasons and context for how people respond to the intervention. This paper illustrates how usability testing may be enriched by theoretical modelling by means of two qualitative studies of users' views of the delivery of information in an internet-delivered intervention to help users decide whether they needed to seek medical care for their cold or flu symptoms.

Methods: in Study 1, 21 participants recruited from a city in southern England were asked to 'think aloud' while viewing draft web-pages presented in paper format. In Study 2, views of our prototype website were elicited, again using think aloud methods, in a sample of 26 participants purposively sampled for diversity in education levels. Both data-sets were analysed by thematic analysis.

Results: study 1 revealed that although the information provided by the draft web-pages had many of the intended empowering benefits, users often felt overwhelmed by the quantity of information. Relating these findings to theory and research on factors influencing preferences for information-seeking we hypothesised that to meet the needs of different users (especially those with lower literacy levels) our website should be designed to provide only essential personalised advice, but with options to access further information. Study 2 showed that our website design did prove accessible to users with different literacy levels. However, some users seemed to want still greater control over how information was accessed.

Conclusions: educational level need not be an insuperable barrier to appreciating web-based access to detailed health-related information, provided that users feel they can quickly gain access to the specific information they seek

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1472-6947-10-52.pdf - Other
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Published date: September 2010

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 180173
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/180173
PURE UUID: a2bbb0db-e717-4687-bd1b-523eb76c4959
ORCID for Lucy Yardley: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3853-883X
ORCID for Leanne G Morrison: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9961-551X

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Date deposited: 05 Apr 2011 13:42
Last modified: 08 Jan 2022 03:11

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Contributors

Author: Lucy Yardley ORCID iD
Author: Panayiota Andreou
Author: Judith Joseph
Author: Paul Little

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