Academic journal article Journal of Nursing Scholarship

The Design, Development, and Evaluation of a Qualitative Data Collection Application for Pregnant Women

Academic journal article Journal of Nursing Scholarship

The Design, Development, and Evaluation of a Qualitative Data Collection Application for Pregnant Women

Article excerpt

Determining the approach to data collection is a key element of research design. Several factors, other than the research question, influence the choice of data collection methods, including but not limited to geographical location of participants and the researchers' available funding and access to resources, such as administrative datasets (Wilcox, Gallagher, Boden-Albala, & Bakken, 2012).

Traditional Qualitative Data Collection Strategies

Methods typically used for data collection in qualitative research include interviews and focus groups (either online, face-to-face, or by phone), participant diaries, or observations of interactions, including use of video to record day-to-day practice or events (Udtha, Nomie, Yu, & Sanner, 2015; Wilkerson, Iantaffi, Grey, Bockting, & Rosser, 2014). Advancements in digital and mobile technology are producing alternative methods for data collection with the benefits of smartphones, tablets, applications, and cloud-based storage (Chan, Torous, Hinton, & Yellowlees, 2014; Dhiliwal & Salins, 2015; Faulds et al., 2016; Wilcox et al., 2012); however, they also bring design, implementation, and ethical challenges that need careful consideration.

Online Qualitative Data Collection Strategies

Digital and mobile technology are increasingly utilised in health-related research, including mental health, palliative care, travel health, health promotion, telemedicine, and pregnancy care (Chan et al., 2014; Dhiliwal & Salins, 2015; Evans, Wallace, & Snider, 2012; Frazer, Hussey, Bosch, & Squire, 2015; GarnweidnerHolme, Borgen, Garitano, Noll, & Lukasse, 2015; Jordan, Ray, Johnson, & Evans, 2011; Krauskopf, 2017; Wang & Alexander, 2014). The popularity of smartphones and Internet accessibility can assist researchers to communicate with potential participants through a variety of modes, such as instant messaging, photo sharing, and video conferencing (Chan et al., 2014; Dhiliwal & Salins, 2015).

Digital technology offers the opportunity to capture the experiences and feelings of healthcare consumers immediately or soon after their appointments with professionals. The aim of this article is to detail the development of a purpose-designed smartphone application (app) from the initial idea through to the testing of the app. This article explores issues of ethics and intellectual property raised during the development of the app, as well as the evaluation by participants testing the app.

The main study was undertaken to explore the experiences of women planning to have a vaginal birth after caesarean delivery (VBAC) by collecting data immediately after their visits with health professionals from 32 weeks' gestation until birth. Part of the study involved data collection through the use of the myVBACapp.

Observational studies have explored the relationship between the pregnant woman and health professional and identified the varying communication styles found in different models of antenatal or maternity care (McCourt, 2006; Pollard, 2011). However, little is understood regarding the impact of what women are told in the antenatal appointments on their feelings and decisions.

Antenatal appointments increase in frequency in the third trimester, from monthly to fortnightly from 28 weeks' gestation, and to weekly from 36 weeks' gestation. This allows for increased communication and potential influence of the health professional on the woman's decision making.

Pregnancy-related apps occupy a large proportion of health-related apps available (Thomas & Lupton, 2015). Many pregnant women access apps for pregnancy-related information (Declercq, Sakata, Corry, Applebaum, & Herrlich, 2013; Evans et al., 2012; Frazer et al., 2015; Garnweidner-Holme et al., 2015; Jordan et al., 2011; Rodger et al., 2013; Thomas & Lupton, 2015). In 2014 to 2015, 97% of all Australian households with children under 15 years of age accessed the Internet at home, with 86% of households accessing the Internet via mobile or smartphones (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2016). …

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