Developing digital applications for tailored communication in orthopaedics using a Research through Design approach

Bob Groeneveld, Marijke Melles, Stephan Vehmeijer, Nina Mathijssen, Tessa Dekkers, Richard Goossens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Tailored communication and information provision is expected to contribute to patient-centred care (PCC) in total hip arthroplasty (THA). In previous research, three subgroups of THA patients were identified that are similar in their clinical, psychological and communication characteristics. Preliminary subgroup-specific design guidelines were also formulated. Using these insights as a starting point, a theoretical framework was developed for tailored information provision and communication using digital applications. This study aims to refine the framework as well as subgroup-specific design guidelines for digital applications. Methods: This study uses a Research through Design (RtD) approach, generating insights both from the development and evaluation of prototypes in the early design stage. Paper-based prototypes will be made for each subgroup and evaluated with patients and care providers. Semi-structured interviews are held with participants exploring their experiences with the prototype. A quasi-experiment with a non-random control cohort is used to validate the qualitative findings. Post-surgery consultations with and without prototype are videotaped and scored using a structured instrument. Results: A design diary will be used to summarize design decisions and considerations. Feedback from participants is analysed inductively. Adaptations in subgroup-specific guidelines will be based on comparison of verbal feedback and descriptive statistics from consultations with and without prototype. Conclusions: Although mixed-method feasibility studies of digital health interventions are common, this protocol also considers the utility of the early design process and the designer’s perspective for realizing PCC and tailored care.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDigital health
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes

Cite this