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Scand J Caring Sci. 2012 Mar;26(1):70-80. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6712.2011.00905.x. Epub 2011 Jun 21.

Online self-help tools for the relatives of persons with depression -- a feasibility study.

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  • 1Faculty of Health and Society, Malmö University, Malmö, Sweden. sigrid.stjernsward@mah.se



The Internet's potential as health care tool should be explored.


  One objective was to determine the feasibility of constructing a digitally based tool through an iterative design process in cooperation with potential users. The tool's purpose is to alleviate hardships in daily life of relatives of persons with depression. An additional aim was to explore motivation and hindrances to using the tool as a basis for design decisions.


An iterative design approach, including data collection through focus groups and with paper and web-based prototypes, was used.


Cooperation with potential users, using an iterative design process, was valuable in developing the digitally based tool. Motivations (i.e. to create understanding and rehabilitate oneself) and hindrances (i.e. lack of time or energy) to using the tool were illuminated. Design decisions were based on consideration towards participants' privacy concerns, needs of support and the depression's influence on the relatives' daily life.


Prototypes and cooperation with potential users were essential and valuable for the iterative development of the website.

© 2011 The Authors. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences © 2011 Nordic College of Caring Science.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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