An Interdisciplinary Computer-based Information Tool for Palliative Severe Pain Management

Craig E. Kuziemsky*, Jens H. Weber-Jahnke, Francis Lau, G. Michael Downing

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: As patient care becomes more collaborative in nature, there is a need for information technology that supports interdisciplinary practices of care. This study developed and performed usability testing of a standalone computer-based information tool to support the interdisciplinary practice of palliative severe pain management (SPM). Design: A grounded theory-participatory design (GT-PD) approach was used with three distinct palliative data sources to obtain and understand user requirements for SPM practice and how a computer-based information tool could be designed to support those requirements. Results: The GT-PD concepts and categories provided a rich perspective of palliative SPM and the process and information support required for different SPM tasks. A conceptual framework consisting of an ontology and a set of three problem-solving methods was developed to reconcile the requirements of different interdisciplinary team members. The conceptual framework was then implemented as a prototype computer-based information tool that has different modes of use to support both day-to-day case management and education of palliative SPM. Usability testing of the computer tool was performed, and the tool tested favorably in a laboratory setting. Conclusion: An interdisciplinary computer-based information tool can be developed to support the different work practices and information needs of interdisciplinary team members, but explicit requirements must be sought from all prospective users of such a tool. Qualitative methods such as the hybrid GT-PD approach used in this research are particularly helpful for articulating computer tool design requirements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)374-382
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Medical Informatics Association
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes


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