Accepted paper:

Avoiding the 'Iceberg Effect' - The Need to Incorporate a Behavioural Change Approach to Technology Design in Chronic Illness


John Dinsmore (Trinity College Dublin)

Paper short abstract:

This paper discusses the opportunities and challenges of adopting behavioural change and action research approaches to the design and development of technology to support the self-management practices of chronically ill individuals.

Paper long abstract:

Emphasis on hardware design, ability to remote monitor and collection of system analytic data has meant scarce research into the determinates required to motivate chronically ill individuals to sustain long-term engagement with self-management and rehabilitation technologies. This approach has created an 'Iceberg Effect' to technology design in chronic illness, highlighting a need to further research the underlying social, cultural and psychological factors crucial to developing a symbiotic relationship between patient, carer, health professional and technology. There is need to improve the user experience to facilitate societal adoption in self-management practice and ultimately improve patient quality of life, while reducing burden to health services and carers. This paper provides an overview of current behavioural change models developed in tele-healthcare and discusses the benefits of integrating existing and newly developing behavioural change research into the design of content material and patient relationship with the user interface (UI). Uniquely integrating behavioural change and action research approaches in chronic illness self-management presents an opportunity to shape the content from the patient's perspective to induce healthy lifestyle modification by blending knowledge, learning and implementation strategies to increase user engagement while reducing the learning curve effect. Issues that may stifle a behavioural change approach are also discussed. New psychological design approaches alone are not sufficient and changes to health service provision for adoption of technology and incorporation of training for patients, carers and health professionals is also necessary to improve the role of technology in self-management strategies for chronic conditions.

panel LD28
Ageing and the digital life course (IUAES Commission on Ageing and the Aged)