Merging health literacy with computer technology: Self-managing diet and fluid intake among adult hemodialysis patients

Janet L. Welch, Katie A. Siek, Kay H. Connelly, Kim S. Astroth, M. Sue McManus, Linda Scott, Seongkum Heo, Michael A. Kraus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: The Dietary Intake Monitoring Application (DIMA) is an electronic dietary self-monitor developed for use on a personal digital assistant (PDA). This paper describes how computer, information, numerical, and visual literacy were considered in development of DIMA. Methods: An iterative, participatory design approach was used. Forty individuals receiving hemodialysis at an urban inner-city facility, primarily middle-aged and African American, were recruited. Results: Computer literacy was considered by assessing abilities to complete traditional/nontraditional PDA tasks. Information literacy was enhanced by including a Universal-Product-Code (UPC) scanner, picture icons for food with no UPC code, voice recorder, and culturally sensitive food icons. Numerical literacy was enhanced by designing DIMA to compute real-time totals that allowed individuals to see their consumption relative to their dietary prescription. Visual literacy was considered by designing the graphical interface to convey intake data over a 24-h period that could be accurately interpreted by patients. Pictorial icons for feedback graphs used objects understood by patients. Practice implications: Preliminary data indicate the application is extremely helpful for individuals as they self-monitor their intake. If desired, DIMA could also be used for dietary counseling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-198
Number of pages7
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Volume79
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2010

Keywords

  • Health literacy
  • Hemodialysis
  • Informatics
  • Self-management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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    Welch, J. L., Siek, K. A., Connelly, K. H., Astroth, K. S., McManus, M. S., Scott, L., Heo, S., & Kraus, M. A. (2010). Merging health literacy with computer technology: Self-managing diet and fluid intake among adult hemodialysis patients. Patient Education and Counseling, 79(2), 192-198. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pec.2009.08.016