Usability of a CKD educational website targeted to patients and their family members.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Web-based technology is critical to the future of healthcare. As part of the Safe Kidney Care cohort study evaluating patient safety in CKD, this study determined how effectively a representative sample of patients with CKD or family members could interpret and use the Safe Kidney Care website (www.safekidneycare.org), an informational website on safety in CKD. DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS, & MEASUREMENTS: Between November of 2011 and January of 2012, persons with CKD or their family members underwent formal usability testing administered by a single interviewer with a second recording observer. Each participant was independently provided a list of 21 tasks to complete, with each task rated as either easily completed/noncritical error or critical error (user cannot complete the task without significant interviewer intervention). RESULTS: Twelve participants completed formal usability testing. Median completion time for all tasks was 17.5 minutes (range=10-44 minutes). In total, 10 participants had greater than or equal to one critical error. There were 55 critical errors in 252 tasks (22%), with the highest proportion of critical errors occurring when participants were asked to find information on treatments that may damage kidneys, find the website on the internet, increase font size, and scroll to the bottom of the webpage. Participants were generally satisfied with the content and usability of the website. CONCLUSIONS: Web-based educational materials for patients with CKD should target a wide range of computer literacy levels and anticipate variability in competency in use of the computer and internet.
Diamantidis, CJ; Zuckerman, M; Fink, W; Hu, P; Yang, S; Fink, JC
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