Using a Collaborative Research Approach to Develop an Interdisciplinary Research Agenda for the Study of Mobile Health Interventions for Older Adults

Mercer et al. (2015) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?

mobile health interventions

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

North America - Canada

Why was it conducted at all?

Seniors with chronic diseases are often called on to self-manage their conditions. Mobile health (mHealth) tools may be a useful strategy to help seniors access health information at the point of decision-making, receive real-time feedback and coaching, and monitor health conditions. However, developing successful mHealth interventions for seniors presents many challenges. One of the key challenges is to ensure the scope of possible research questions includes the diverse views of seniors, experts and the stakeholder groups who support seniors as they manage chronic disease.

What was the objective?

to present a case-study of a collaborative research approach to the development of an interdisciplinary research agenda, to report on the results of a nominal group technique (NGT) approach used to generate research questions and to assess the success of including non-academic researchers to enrich the scope, priority, and total number of possible research questions

What was the outcome?

a list of 4 research topics

How long did the research prioritization take?

No information provided.

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?


How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: meeting: starting with presentations, participants were invited to present their perspective on mHealth including challenges they were facing and questions they had, nominal group technique method was then used to identify potential research questions: three small groups were formed of 4 to 8 participants each, participants were asked to discuss the question: In your opinion, what does research need to do to better understand the effectiveness, usability, and design of mobile health apps and devices for older adults?, participants generated ideas silently and as a group, ideas were then merged, others were removed, new ones were added, participants were then asked to individually rank ideas followed by group ranking

Which stakeholders took part?

Researchers in systems design and/or aging, healthcare providers for older adults, mobile technology professionals, community members living with chronic illness, and disease-specific advocacy organizations. 32 participants.

How were stakeholders recruited?

Participants who either had relationships with the 50-plus community or who were involved in the development of mobile apps were recruited. Specifically, the project team invited researchers in systems design and/or aging, health care providers for older adults, mobile technology professionals, community members living with chronic illness, and disease-specific advocacy organizations. Participants were not required to be experts in mHealth.

Were stakeholders actively involved or did they just participate?

Stakeholders were mere participants of the research prioritization process; they were not actively involved in the process.