Departing from the widespread use of the internet in modern society and the emerging use of web applications in healthcare this project captures persons’ needs and expectations in order to develop highly usable web recourses. The purpose of this paper is to outline a multi-case research project focused on the development and evaluation of person-centred web-based support for people with long-term illness. To support the underlying idea to move beyond the illness, we approach the development of web support from the perspective of the emergent area of person-centred care. The project aims to contribute to the ongoing development of web-based supports in health care and to the emerging field of person-centred care.
The research design uses a meta-analytical approach through its focus on synthesizing experiences from four Swedish regional and national cases of design and use of web-based support in long-term illness. The cases include children (bladder dysfunction and urogenital malformation), young adults (living close to persons with mental illness), and two different cases of adults (women with breast cancer and childbearing women with type 1 diabetes). All of the cases are ongoing, though in different stages of design, implementation, and analysis. This, we argue, will lead to a synthesis of results on a meta-level not yet described.
To allow valid comparisons between the four cases we explore and problematize them in relation to four main aspects: 1) The use of people’s experiences and needs; 2) The role of use of theories in the design of person-centred web-based supports; 3) The evaluation of the effects of health outcomes for the informants involved and 4) The development of a generic person-centred model for learning and social support for people with long-term illness and their significant others. Person-centred web-based support is a new area and few studies focus on how web-based interventions can contribute to the development of person-centred care. In summary, the main intention of the project outlined here is to contribute with both a synthesis of results on meta-level from four cases and a substantial contribution to the field person-centred care.
BioMed Central, 2013. Vol. 13, no 119, 1-7 p.