Human Agency in Self-Management Tools

R Voorend, J Derboven, Karin Slegers, Anneleen Baert, Els Claeys

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperOther research output


Self-management tools are increasingly used to empower patients
with chronic conditions to monitor their condition and treatment.
As these tools put responsibility with patients, it is important to
better understand how patients adopt these tools and how their
context influences this adoption. To this end, we study the adoption
of a self-management application (HeartMan) for patients with
heart failure. Using a socio-technical framework of non-functional
aspects of home-based healthcare technology we aim to integrate
their context and the help they receive from informal caregivers.
We interviewed 10 patients after using the system. Our results
show that although the system increased patients’ knowledge about
healthy diet, encouraged them to be more physically active, and
made some patients feel more aware of their health, it did not allow
for much flexibility regarding the interface and interactions with the
system. As such the system exercises agency over the patient rather
than empowering them. More flexibility regarding how patients
can use the system could empower them to manage their condition
and treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2019
Event13th EAI International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare: Pervasive Health 2019 - Trento, Italy
Duration: 20 May 201923 May 2019


Conference13th EAI International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare
Internet address


  • self-management
  • patients
  • human agency
  • chronic health conditions
  • healthcare

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