Faculty Publications – College of Science and Health


Designing an mHealth application to bridge health disparities in Latina breast cancer survivors: a community-supported design approach

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Latina breast cancer patients in the USA report significantly worse cancer-related symptom burden and health-related quality of life than non-Hispanic whites. However, health literacy (e.g. knowledge about cancer, coping skills and communication) has been found to improve quality of life. In this paper, we present a case study of the methodology used to design Mi Guía (My Guide), a mobile application that aims to improve symptom burden and health-related quality of life among Hispanic women who have completed active treatment for breast cancer by increasing their health literacy. We developed a community-supported approach to building the application, which involved: (1) eliciting feedback from community leaders such as support group organizers and facilitators who are bilingual in Spanish and English, prioritize patients’ preferences and best interests and have a unique knowledge of the women and their needs; (2) conducting a formal evaluation of design principles based on previous interaction design research and user responses; (3) incorporating feedback from potential future users. In this paper, we discuss our methodology, and the challenges and benefits of this approach. We believe that future studies that aim to develop mobile technologies for underserved populations may benefit from a community-supported approach to design.