Thesis Open Access

Healthcare professionals gain control of children's diabetes self-management

Hong, Jet Shin

Children aged 8 to 12 with diabetes type I are motivated to
get involved in their diabetes management to reduce the impact of their
illness on their short- and long-term health. Self-management of
diabetes is an active and proactive process and it involves shifting and
sharing responsibility for diabetes care tasks and decision-making in
frequent collaboration with healthcare professionals. The research
question this study sought to answer is: ‘How can a healthcare
management tool support healthcare professionals in guiding children
with diabetes self-management involving a social actor
(robot/avatar)?’. To answer this question, a prototype of a healthcare
management tool was developed and evaluated with end users
(diabetes nurses) and an important stakeholder (diabetes doctor),
following the situated Cognitive Engineering approach. Overall, this
prototype of a redesigned PAL Control was perceived positively by the
healthcare professionals and the findings suggested that a combination
of an assessment with a robot or its avatar, setting goals, selecting
actions and the progression page, is a suitable and effective approach to
healthcare professionals in guiding children with diabetes selfmanagement. Healthcare professionals mentioned that this system has
provided them support in making the consult with children and parents
more meaningful due to the fact that they can understand their needs
better on forehand. However, evaluations for a longer period of time is
needed in order to validate if the needs are completely fulfilled.
Nonetheless, useful suggestions were found during the evaluation of
the prototype and provided important pointers for further development

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