Human-Centered Design Considerations in Healthcare Contexts: Young Children as Users of Medical Products
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- Institutt for design 
Human-centered design represents an overall perspective wherein people are at the core. However, a general challenge lies in applying human-centered principles to groups of people and situations that are somehow distant to designers. This thesis focuses on a user group that has received limited attention in design, namely young children. Young children represent a group that can be perceived as difficult to reach for designers. This research has been carried out in order to develop knowledge around young children as product users in healthcare contexts. The overarching goal of this thesis is to support the human-centered designer who is concerned with young children in healthcare contexts and as users of medical products. Another goal is to stimulate debate and raise awareness about user groups that are commonly overlooked and perceived as difficult to reach. In order to address these goals, the thesis focuses on the following three questions that relate to human-centered design principles about gaining understanding of users and the context of use as well as user-centered evaluation: • How can the view of people as competent human actors be upheld when designers address young children? • How can theories and methods support designers to gain understanding about experiences of young hospitalized children and their caregivers? • How can design (as product) foster cooperative interactions between young children and their caregivers during medical treatment? These questions have been explored by examining theories and concepts that are considered relevant for human-centered design, applying methods and eventually constructing themes and design considerations. The thesis builds on the specific case of hospitalized young children who receive medical treatment for respiratory diseases. The work is based on two periods of field study conducted at the children’s ward of a hospital in Norway, where qualitative methods were used. At an overall level, the research approach belongs to the interpretivist/constructivist research paradigm, which resonates with underlying principles of human-centered design. The theoretical background draws on the disciplines of design, social science, pedagogy, and philosophy. The questions are addressed through the synopsis, which presents the research approach and related research, and four included articles. The contributions of the thesis are a set of considerations that are expected to be useful for designers involved in practice as well as research, addressing young user groups, healthcare contexts, and medical product design. Theoretical concepts that can be used to acknowledge people—young children as well as adults—as competent human actors are explored and applied. This can support designers to reflect on the importance of manifesting a human-centered view through methodological consistency. Moreover, existing approaches to the concept of experience in design have been addressed, and limitations have been highlighted. The thesis contributes to knowledge about how an interpretivist/constructivist approach fits human-centered design principles and the concept of experience. Selected theories and methods have been applied to gain understanding of experiences related to medical treatment of young children. The thesis also provides a set of themes and design considerations that, together with the theoretical concepts, can support designers in the process of improving and evaluating products used during medical treatment as well as serve as inspiration for exploring new design spaces aimed at promoting cooperation between children and caregivers in healthcare contexts. Finally, the thesis contributes to supporting the design community by presenting suggestions for further research.
Has partsPaper 1: Høiseth, Marikken; Keitsch, Martina. Using Phenomenological Hermeneutics to Gain Understanding of Stakeholders in Healthcare Contexts. International Journal of Design 2015 ;Volum 9.(3) s. 33-45 Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.5)
Paper 2: Høiseth, Marikken; Keitsch, Martina Maria; Hopperstad, Marit Holm. Interactions Between Caregivers and Young Children: Exploring Pedagogical Tact in Nebulizer Treatment. Qualitative Health Research 2014 ;Volum 24.(12) s. 1622-1634 http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1049732314549017
Paper 3: Høiseth, Marikken; Giannakos, Michail; Alsos, Ole Andreas; Jaccheri, Maria Letizia; Asheim, Jonas. Designing healthcare games and applications for toddlers. I: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children. Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) 2013 http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2485760.2485770 Copyright © 2016 ACM
Paper 4: Høiseth, Marikken; Hopperstad, Marit H. “Now We are Going on a Journey”: Meaning-Making with a Healthcare Game During Toddlers’ Medical Treatment. Preprint accepted in - Child Care in Practice http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13575279.2015.1054784