Technology to engage hospitalised patients in their nutrition care: A qualitative study of usability and patient perceptions of an electronic foodservice system
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Background: Active patient involvement in nutrition care may improvedietary intakes in hospital. Our team is developing an innovative pro-gramme allowing patients to self-assess and self-monitor their nutrition atthe bedside. The present study aimed to assess usability and patient percep-tions of an electronic foodservice system (EFS) for participating in nutritioncare.Methods: This qualitative study was conducted in an Australian tertiaryhospital. Participants were sampled purposively and included patients whowere able to provide informed consent and communicate in English. Patientinterviews were conducted at the bedside and consisted of: (i) usability test-ing of the EFS using ‘Think Aloud’ technique and (ii) questioning using asemi-structured interview guide to understand perceptions of the EFS. Inter-view data were analysed using inductive content analysis.Results: Thirty-two patients were interviewed. Their perceptions of usingthe EFS to participate in nutrition care were expressed in ﬁve categories: (i)Familiarity with technology can affect conﬁdence and ability but is notessential to use EFS; (ii) User interface design signiﬁcantly impacts EFSusability; (iii) Identifying beneﬁts to technology increases its acceptance; (iv)Technology enables participation, which occurs to varying extents; and (v)Degree of participation depends on perceived importance of nutrition.Conclusions: Patients found the EFS acceptable and acknowledged beneﬁtsto its use. Several factors appeared to inﬂuence usability, acceptability andwillingness to engage with the system, such as user interface design and per-ceived ease of use, beneﬁts and importance. The present study providesimportant insights into designing technology-based interventions for engag-ing inpatients in their nutrition care.
Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics
This publication has been entered into Griffith Research Online as an Advanced Online Version.
Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified