Empowering Pediatric Patients as Active Partners with Clinicians and Caregivers in Managing Their Chronic Conditions

With the National Science Foundation grant, Sun Young Park, assistant professor in the School of Information and the Stamps School of Art and Design, will investigate and develop best practices for pediatric patients to be active partners in the management of their chronic conditions at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.

The  24-month investigation will apply design research methodology — including observation, interviews, and data synthesis — to create a rich, descriptive account of the barriers and practices around honest information sharing with children managing chronic conditions.

Start Date: September 1, 2017
End Date: August 31, 2019 (est.)


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Chronic childhood illnesses are on the rise and have a profound impact on the patient, affecting both their long-term physical and emotional wellbeing. Research suggests that directly involving children in the discussion and care of their conditions leads to better adherence to their treatment plans and a healthier emotional outlook. Despite these benefits, children's involvement in their care is generally poorly supported by current clinical practices, by parents, and by technologies designed to help manage health conditions.

The research will fuel a series of participatory design workshops that include pediatric patients, their parents, clinicians, and members of the research team. Early workshops will explore prototype designs using a human-centered, empathy-driven approach, encouraging children to suggest ways to address the challenge. Park will work with child psychologists to analyze the workshop outputs to design higher-fidelity prototypes of tools to support pediatric communication and information sharing.



National Science Foundation 




University of Michigan Office of Research ($15,000)