Effects of Using Child Personas in the Development of a Digital Peer Support Service for Childhood Cancer Survivors

Background: Peer support services have the potential to support children who survive cancer by handling the physical, mental, and social challenges associated with survival and return to everyday life. Involving the children themselves in the design process allows for adapting services to authentic user behaviors and goals. As there are several challenges that put critical requirements on a user-centered design process, we developed a design method based on personas adapted to the particular needs of children that promotes health and handles a sensitive design context. Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of using child personas in the development of a digital peer support service for childhood cancer survivors. Methods: The user group’s needs and behaviors were characterized based on cohort data and literature, focus group interviews with childhood cancer survivors (n=15, 8-12 years), stakeholder interviews with health care professionals and parents (n=13), user interviews, and observations. Data were interpreted and explained together with childhood cancer survivors (n=5) in three explorative design workshops and a validation workshop with children (n=7). Results: We present findings and insights on how to codesign child personas in the context of developing digital peer support services with childhood cancer survivors. The work resulted in three primary personas that model the behaviors, attitudes, and goals of three user archetypes tailored for developing health-promoting services in this particular use context. Additionally, we also report on the effects of using these personas in the design of a digital peer support service called Give Me a Break. Conclusions: By applying our progressive steps of data collection and analysis, we arrive at authentic child-personas that were successfully used to design and develop health-promoting services for children in vulnerable life stages. The child-personas serve as effective collaboration and communication aids for both internal and external purposes.
Journal of Medical Internet Research

‘Seinfeld’ Sound Effects Make This ‘Phantom Menace’ Lightsaber Battle Absolutely Hilarious

(Photos:  20th Century Fox & George Lange/NBC/ Getty Images)

Depending on who you ask, The Phantom Menace is the worst installment in the Star Wars franchise.

The plot? Dull. Jar Jar Binks? Goddamn annoying. And how about all those random Seinfeld sound effects?

That last part didn’t actually happen. But a new video posted to YouTube, titled “Episode I: The Phantom Nothing,” places sound effects from the ’90s sitcom “about nothing” into that definitive saber-showdown between Obi Wan, Qui Gon Ginn and Darth Maul.

Because why the hell not?

This is not the first time Seinfeld has unexpectedly appeared in an iconic franchise. Another viral video placed clips of Jerry Seinfeld driving a car into some car-chase sequences from Fast and Furious.

Hey, that all ain’t nothing!


Effects on Engagement and Health Literacy Outcomes of Web-Based Materials Promoting Physical Activity in People With Diabetes: An International Randomized Trial

Background: Developing accessible Web-based materials to support diabetes self-management in people with lower levels of health literacy is a continuing challenge. Objective: The objective of this international study was to develop a Web-based intervention promoting physical activity among people with type 2 diabetes to determine whether audiovisual presentation and interactivity (quizzes, planners, tailoring) could help to overcome the digital divide by making digital interventions accessible and effective for people with all levels of health literacy. This study also aimed to determine whether these materials can improve health literacy outcomes for people with lower levels of health literacy and also be effective for people with higher levels of health literacy. Methods: To assess the impact of interactivity and audiovisual features on usage, engagement, and health literacy outcomes, we designed two versions of a Web-based intervention (one interactive and one plain-text version of the same content) to promote physical activity in people with type 2 diabetes. We randomly assigned participants from the United Kingdom, Austria, Germany, Ireland, and Taiwan to either an interactive or plain-text version of the intervention in English, German, or Mandarin. Intervention usage was objectively recorded by the intervention software. Self-report measures were taken at baseline and follow-up (immediately after participants viewed the intervention) and included measures of health literacy, engagement (website satisfaction and willingness to recommend the intervention to others), and health literacy outcomes (diabetes knowledge, enablement, attitude, perceived behavioral control, and intention to undertake physical activity). Results: In total, 1041 people took part in this study. Of the 1005 who completed health literacy information, 268 (26.67%) had intermediate or low levels of health literacy. The interactive intervention overall did not produce better outcomes than did the plain-text version. Participants in the plain-text intervention group looked at significantly more sections of the intervention (mean difference –0.47, 95% CI –0.64 to –0.30, P<.001), but this did not lead to better outcomes. Health literacy outcomes, including attitudes and intentions to engage in physical activity, significantly improved following the intervention for participants in both intervention groups. These improvements were similar across higher and lower health literacy levels and in all countries. Participants in the interactive intervention group had acquired more diabetes knowledge (mean difference 0.80, 95% CI 0.65-0.94, P<.001). Participants from both groups reported high levels of website satisfaction and would recommend the website to others. Conclusions: Following established practice for simple, clear design and presentation and using a person-based approach to intervention development, with in-depth iterative feedback from users, may be more important than interactivity and audiovisual presentations when developing accessible digital health interventions to improve health literacy outcomes. ClinicalTrial: International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN): 43587048; http://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN43587048. (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6nGhaP9bv) Journal of Medical Internet Research

Effects of the Web Behavior Change Program for Activity and Multimodal Pain Rehabilitation: Randomized Controlled Trial

Background: Web-based interventions with a focus on behavior change have been used for pain management, but studies of Web-based interventions integrated in clinical practice are lacking. To emphasize the development of cognitive skills and behavior, and to increase activity and self-care in rehabilitation, the Web Behavior Change Program for Activity (Web-BCPA) was developed and added to multimodal pain rehabilitation (MMR). Objective: The objective of our study was to evaluate the effects of MMR in combination with the Web-BCPA compared with MMR among persons with persistent musculoskeletal pain in primary health care on pain intensity, self-efficacy, and copying, as part of a larger collection of data. Web-BCPA adherence and feasibility, as well as treatment satisfaction, were also investigated. Methods: A total of 109 participants, mean age 43 (SD 11) years, with persistent pain in the back, neck, shoulder, and/or generalized pain were recruited to a randomized controlled trial with two intervention arms: (1) MMR+WEB (n=60) and (2) MMR (n=49). Participants in the MMR+WEB group self-guided through the eight modules of the Web-BCPA: pain, activity, behavior, stress and thoughts, sleep and negative thoughts, communication and self-esteem, solutions, and maintenance and progress. Data were collected with a questionnaire at baseline and at 4 and 12 months. Outcome measures were pain intensity (Visual Analog Scale), self-efficacy to control pain and to control other symptoms (Arthritis Self-Efficacy Scale), general self-efficacy (General Self-Efficacy Scale), and coping (two-item Coping Strategies Questionnaire; CSQ). Web-BCPA adherence was measured as minutes spent in the program. Satisfaction and Web-BCPA feasibility were assessed by a set of items. Results: Of 109 participants, 99 received the allocated intervention (MMR+WEB: n=55; MMR: n=44); 88 of 99 (82%) completed the baseline and follow-up questionnaires. Intention-to-treat analyses were performed with a sample size of 99. The MMR+WEB intervention was effective over time (time*group) compared to MMR for the two-item CSQ catastrophizing subscale (P=.003), with an effect size of 0.61 (Cohen d) at 12 months. There were no significant between-group differences over time (time*group) regarding pain intensity, self-efficacy (pain, other symptoms, and general), or regarding six subscales of the two-item CSQ. Improvements over time (time) for the whole study group were found regarding mean (P<.001) and maximum (P=.002) pain intensity. The mean time spent in the Web-based program was 304 minutes (range 0-1142). Participants rated the items of Web-BCPA feasibility between 68/100 and 90/100. Participants in the MMR+WEB group were more satisfied with their MMR at 4 months (P<.001) and at 12 months (P=.003). Conclusions: Adding a self-guided Web-based intervention with a focus on behavioral change for activity to MMR can reduce catastrophizing and increase satisfaction with MMR. Patients in MMR may need more supportive coaching to increase adherence in the Web-BCPA to find it valuable. ClinicalTrial: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01475591; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01475591 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6kUnt7VQh) Journal of Medical Internet Research