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Developing a web-based information resource for palliative care: an action-research inspired approach.

Street AF, Swift K, Annells M, Woodruff R, Gliddon T, Oakley A, Ottman G - BMC Med Inform Decis Mak (2007)

Bottom Line: This paper describes the benefits and challenges of a collaborative approach involving users and experts that informed the first stage of the development of a palliative care website 1.Given the substantial cost associated with the maintenance of authoritative health information sites, the paper proposes a more collaborative development in which users can be engaged in the definition of content to ensure relevance and responsiveness, and to eliminate unnecessary detail.Access to volunteer networks forms an integral part of such an approach.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Clinical School of Nursing, La Trobe University/Austin Health, Lv 4 Austin Tower, Heidelberg VIC 3084, Australia. A.Street@latrobe.edu.au

ABSTRACT

Background: General Practitioners and community nurses rely on easily accessible, evidence-based online information to guide practice. To date, the methods that underpin the scoping of user-identified online information needs in palliative care have remained under-explored. This paper describes the benefits and challenges of a collaborative approach involving users and experts that informed the first stage of the development of a palliative care website 1.

Method: The action research-inspired methodology included a panel assessment of an existing palliative care website based in Victoria, Australia; a pre-development survey (n = 197) scoping potential audiences and palliative care information needs; working parties conducting a needs analysis about necessary information content for a redeveloped website targeting health professionals and caregivers/patients; an iterative evaluation process involving users and experts; as well as a final evaluation survey (n = 166).

Results: Involving users in the identification of content and links for a palliative care website is time-consuming and requires initial resources, strong networking skills and commitment. However, user participation provided crucial information that led to the widened the scope of the website audience and guided the development and testing of the website. The needs analysis underpinning the project suggests that palliative care peak bodies need to address three distinct audiences (clinicians, allied health professionals as well as patients and their caregivers).

Conclusion: Web developers should pay close attention to the content, language, and accessibility needs of these groups. Given the substantial cost associated with the maintenance of authoritative health information sites, the paper proposes a more collaborative development in which users can be engaged in the definition of content to ensure relevance and responsiveness, and to eliminate unnecessary detail. Access to volunteer networks forms an integral part of such an approach.

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Main Project Stages.
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Figure 2: Main Project Stages.

Mentions: The project was constructed in four main stages that were implemented between March 2003 and May 2005. The pre-development stage involved identification of the needs of the target audiences through the literature review, a pre-development online survey, and a gap analysis undertaken by the User Working Groups (UWGs) made up of consumers and health professionals under the oversight of the Project Reference Group (PRG) of key stakeholders. After a lengthy consultation and development process, a test website (beta site) was developed by the Melbourne-based Centre for Online Media and Educational Technology (COMET) for eventual transfer to the Palliative Care Victoria website. The beta (test) site development was undertaken with input from external experts and the User Working Groups. The beta site was then assessed by key stakeholders as well as consumers. Finally, as last modifications were made to the site the sustainability plan was implemented in conjunction with PVC. The following Figure (2) gives an overview of the major project stages:


Developing a web-based information resource for palliative care: an action-research inspired approach.

Street AF, Swift K, Annells M, Woodruff R, Gliddon T, Oakley A, Ottman G - BMC Med Inform Decis Mak (2007)

Main Project Stages.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2194759&req=5

Figure 2: Main Project Stages.
Mentions: The project was constructed in four main stages that were implemented between March 2003 and May 2005. The pre-development stage involved identification of the needs of the target audiences through the literature review, a pre-development online survey, and a gap analysis undertaken by the User Working Groups (UWGs) made up of consumers and health professionals under the oversight of the Project Reference Group (PRG) of key stakeholders. After a lengthy consultation and development process, a test website (beta site) was developed by the Melbourne-based Centre for Online Media and Educational Technology (COMET) for eventual transfer to the Palliative Care Victoria website. The beta (test) site development was undertaken with input from external experts and the User Working Groups. The beta site was then assessed by key stakeholders as well as consumers. Finally, as last modifications were made to the site the sustainability plan was implemented in conjunction with PVC. The following Figure (2) gives an overview of the major project stages:

Bottom Line: This paper describes the benefits and challenges of a collaborative approach involving users and experts that informed the first stage of the development of a palliative care website 1.Given the substantial cost associated with the maintenance of authoritative health information sites, the paper proposes a more collaborative development in which users can be engaged in the definition of content to ensure relevance and responsiveness, and to eliminate unnecessary detail.Access to volunteer networks forms an integral part of such an approach.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Clinical School of Nursing, La Trobe University/Austin Health, Lv 4 Austin Tower, Heidelberg VIC 3084, Australia. A.Street@latrobe.edu.au

ABSTRACT

Background: General Practitioners and community nurses rely on easily accessible, evidence-based online information to guide practice. To date, the methods that underpin the scoping of user-identified online information needs in palliative care have remained under-explored. This paper describes the benefits and challenges of a collaborative approach involving users and experts that informed the first stage of the development of a palliative care website 1.

Method: The action research-inspired methodology included a panel assessment of an existing palliative care website based in Victoria, Australia; a pre-development survey (n = 197) scoping potential audiences and palliative care information needs; working parties conducting a needs analysis about necessary information content for a redeveloped website targeting health professionals and caregivers/patients; an iterative evaluation process involving users and experts; as well as a final evaluation survey (n = 166).

Results: Involving users in the identification of content and links for a palliative care website is time-consuming and requires initial resources, strong networking skills and commitment. However, user participation provided crucial information that led to the widened the scope of the website audience and guided the development and testing of the website. The needs analysis underpinning the project suggests that palliative care peak bodies need to address three distinct audiences (clinicians, allied health professionals as well as patients and their caregivers).

Conclusion: Web developers should pay close attention to the content, language, and accessibility needs of these groups. Given the substantial cost associated with the maintenance of authoritative health information sites, the paper proposes a more collaborative development in which users can be engaged in the definition of content to ensure relevance and responsiveness, and to eliminate unnecessary detail. Access to volunteer networks forms an integral part of such an approach.

Show MeSH