Department of Information Systems - The University of Melbourne Australia
Basil Alzougool is a PhD student at the Department of Information Systems and Biomedical Multimedia Unit – The University of Melbourne. His main area of interest focuses on Health Informatics. He is currently working towards an understanding of the information needs of consumers of health information systems especially the informal carers, as well as the design features that facilitate access to required information. He has been awarded a scholarship from the University of Melbourne to undertake his PhD.
Kathleen Gray is an educational technology researcher and developer in the Biomedical Multimedia Unit at The University of Melbourne. She has considerable experience in projects to improve web-based approaches to communicating biomedical and healthcare information to diverse audiences. Her current research interests include the relationship between designs for learning and teaching with technology in health professions, on the one hand, and the ways that clinicians and consumers engage in information and communication activities, on the other.
Shanton Chang is a senior lecturer in Change Management and Social Impacts of Information Systems at the Department of Information Systems, University of Melbourne. He completed his Ph.D. in Managing Multicultural Workforces at Monash University. His current primary areas of research include the Health Informatics, Online Behaviour and Online Prosumers, Use of ICT in Education and the Social Aspects of Broadband Technology Adoption and Appropriation.
An In-depth Look at an Informal Carer’s Information Needs: A Case Study of a Carer of a Diabetic Child
Basil Alzougool, Kathleen Gray, Shanton Chang
This paper proposes and reports on an empirical test of a taxonomy of information needs of informal carers. Prior research in this field is limited and has concentrated on the carer’s information needs that are most directly related to the patient’s needs, whereas information needs related to other aspects of being a carer have hardly been addressed. Four main categories of information needs of informal carers are proposed: (i) information needs related to the persons needing care, (ii) information needs related to the informal carers themselves, (iii) information needs related to the interaction between the persons needing care and informal carers; and (iv) information related to the interaction between informal carers and other parties in the context of care. A qualitative case study approach is taken to data from a carer of a child with Type 1 diabetes. Analysis of this case shows information needs in all four categories, although not evenly distributed across them. The paper discusses the adequacy of the four proposed categories to describe the information needs of carers, draws implications for consumer-centred health information systems and outlines directions for further research.
Information Needs; Informal Carers; Diabetes, Children; Case Study; Consumer Health Information