Date of Award

8-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Computer Science

Advisor

Dr. Juan E. Gilbert

Committee Member

Dr. Damon Woodard

Committee Member

Dr. Larry F. Hodges

Committee Member

Dr. Tracy Fasolino

Committee Member

Dr. Sekou Remy

Abstract

This research is motivated by some of the challenges faced by the healthcare community in communicating health information to the public and the potential for user-centered technology design to address some of these limitations. Each year, thousands die or are injured due to adverse-drug events due to both prescription and over-the-counter medications. The integration of technology has improved the incidence rate for adverse-drug events due to prescription medications. Similarly, personal health records and other consumer-based health applications have been shown to be beneficial for helping individuals manage their health. Despite this growing body of research, little to no research has been conducted to gauge the possible effectiveness of technology created through a user-centered design process to assist consumers in understanding similar events due to over-the-counter medications. This research explores the implications for the design of interactive technology to help older adults understand the possible risk of an adverse drug events resulting from taking over-the-counter (OTC) medications. A user-centered design process was employed, leveraging various techniques to design technology to assist older adults with over-the-counter medication information. The three studies conducted for this research are part of an Exploratory Mixed-Methods Study, designed to identify current practices and challenges, identify opportunities for technology integration, and to examine the usability and effectiveness of the resultant technological artifacts for assisting older adults with over-the-counter medication information. Data collection included semi-structure interviews, surveys, questionnaires, and observations. Results from each study suggest that the technologies evaluated are useful for assisting older adults with over-the-counter medication information. Design recommendations identified throughout each phase are presented to provide insight on the technology features found useful and not so useful by older adults throughout the process of this research.

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