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Usability of a Web-Based Symptom Monitoring Tool for Heart Failure

Wakefield BJ, Alexander A, Dellsperger K, Erdelez S. Usability of a Web-Based Symptom Monitoring Tool for Heart Failure. Paper presented at: Midwest Nursing Research Society Annual Conference; 2013 Mar 9; Chicago, IL.


PURPOSE: The purpose of the project is to: 1) design a web-based patient-centered tool to facilitate symptom monitoring, recognition and reporting in patients with heart failure (HF); and 2) conduct a usability evaluation of the website where the tool will be hosted. METHODS: Website design will include consideration of key features important to the design of sites for older people, such as typeface and page layout using principles of design consistent with expected end-users (older adults with chronic illness). The expert review will begin with a heuristic evaluation, a commonly used usability evaluation method to examine a user interface and judge its compliance with a checklist of usability principles or heuristics. Finally, ten potential end users recruited from Cardiology Clinic will participate in usability interviews evaluating the website. Usability testing will be conducted in the University of Missouri Information Experience Lab using Morae software. Three key task testing scenarios will be developed to provide the user direction during the interaction; scenarios will be focused on reviewing data that might typically be entered on the site (e.g., weight variations). Each interaction will be tabulated and categorized according the events that were observed and recorded. Interaction measures include: a) efficiency measures (primarily task time); and b) effectiveness measures (task success). Participants will also complete the System Usability Scale to measure user satisfaction and perceptions of the site; these data will be analyzed descriptively. RESULTS: At the end of this project, we will have a user-tested website designed to test in a larger study evaluating symptom monitoring in patients with heart failure. CONCLUSIONS: HF is a leading cause of disability and death in the United States. Although it is widely believed that symptom recognition and reporting by patients could lead to preventing exacerbation and hospital admission, patients often do not recognize important changes in signs and symptoms that may indicate decompensation. The website will assist patients with HF to monitor their symptoms and enable early intervention.

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