The number of older adults projected to grow rapidly, leading to increased interest in building technology tools to maintain their health and wellness. I performed background research in the area, and noted lack of integrated technology tools for wellness. I then brainstormed ideas on how to assess if such a tool would meet an unmet need in older adults, and designed a study that would focus groups to assess their attitudes towards a multifunctional wellness tool.
Focus Group Facilitation
Once study design was completed, I facilitated focus groups at multiple older adult communities to ascertain their attitudes towards multifunctional wellness tools as well as any particular features that would act as a facilitator or barrier, and recorded them via an audio recorder.
Qualitative Coding & Analysis
I led the team to transcribe focus groups, and then used an open coding process to generate a code book that would allow further analysis with other team members. Once code book was generated, we used iterative, independent coding process followed by reconciliation with other members for inter-rater reliability. Once iterations complete, we identified cross-cutting themes that were common across groups to summarize their attitudes, facilitators and barriers towards a multifunctional wellness tool.
From the focus groups, we learned about older adult attitudes and thoughts towards multifunctional wellness tools. Generally, they felt positively towards using wellness tools for their health, and felt current tools did not meet their needs. Concerns included how to use such tools in light of aging-related changes, as well as privacy and existing perceptions of technology. We published our findings in the journal Informatics for Health and Social Care.
Department of Biomedical Informatics & Medical Education
School of Medicine
University of Washington
UW Box BIME-SLU 358047
Seattle, WA 98195