Facilitating participation : A joint use of an interactive communication tool by children and professionals in healthcare situations

Detta är en avhandling från Västerås : Mälardalen University

Sammanfattning: Children’s right to participation in situations that matter to them is stated in law and convention texts and is emphasized by the children themselves in research studies, too. When actively involved, their perspective is visualized. Children’s use of interactive technology has increased considerably during the last decade. The use of applications and web sites are becoming a regular occurrence in paediatric healthcare.The overall aim was to develop and test, together with children, an interactive communication tool meant to facilitate young children’s participation in healthcare situations.To understand children’s varied perceptions of their involvement in healthcare situations, interviews, drawings and vignettes were used in a phenomenographic approach (I). A participatory design iteratively evaluated evolving prototypes of an application (II). Video observations and hermeneutics captured the meanings of the participation cues that the children demonstrated when they used the application in healthcare situations (III). A quantitative approach was used to identify patterns in the children’s cue use (IV). In total, 114 children in two clinical settings and in a preschool were involved.The result showed that the children perceived themselves, their parents and the professionals as actors in a healthcare situation, although all were perceived to act differently (I). The children contributed important information on age-appropriateness, usability and likeability in the iterative evaluating phases that eventually ended up in the application (II). When using the application in healthcare situations, the cues they demonstrated were understood as representing a curious, thoughtful or affirmative meaning (III). Curious cues were demonstrated to the highest extent. The three-year-olds and the children with the least experience of healthcare situations demonstrated the highest numbers of cues (IV).Conclusion: when using the application, the children demonstrated a situated participation which was influenced by their perspective of the situation and their inter-inter-action with the application as well as the health professional. The children’s situated participation provided the professionals’ with additional ways of guiding the children based on their perspectives.

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