Henna Kim's Dissertation Proposal


Title: Understanding Information Needs of Patients with Chronic Conditions in the Context of Smartphone Use

Location: UTA 5.522


Smartphones provide immediate and ubiquitous access to the internet and have become a main tool for patients to access health-related information and to self-manage their health. Nevertheless, researchers have paid limited attention to patients’ information needs in the context of using their smartphones to cope with health-related issues in their daily lives. In particular, few studies focus on the information

needs of diabetes patients who carry and use their smartphones and the contexts in which these needs arise and are addressed. Thus, this study aims to better understand the information needs of patients with type 2 diabetes in the context of daily smartphone use. To guide this study, a contextual framework for the smartphone use of patients (SUP) has been developed based on the models of context-aware mobile computing and task-based information seeking and a faceted classification of tasks. Based on this framework, this study will characterize the information needs of diabetes patients in terms of the following contextual factors: time, location, social surroundings, information technology environment, and tasks (patient work and search tasks). This study will employ a survey and a follow-up semi-structured interview using the critical incident technique (CIT). Data obtained from the survey and interviews will be analyzed using descriptive statistics and content analysis. The theoretical contribution of this study lies in an increased understanding of how the context of smartphone use impacts the information needs of patients with chronic conditions in their daily lives. This study will shed light on not only the topics of patient information needs, but also the context that motivate the needs. This knowledge is critical for researchers, designers, and developers who design and implement mobile health services; better understanding of patients’ needs and behaviors can enhance these services’ effectiveness and user satisfaction.

Committee: Yan Zhang, Bo Xie, Jacek Gwizdka, and Annie Chen (UW)


1:00pm to 3:00pm


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