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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(5), 512;

A Study Protocol for Applying User Participation and Co-Learning—Lessons Learned from the eBalance Project

School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Dalarna University, SE-79188 Falun, Sweden
Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Division of Geriatrics, Uppsala University, SE-75185 Uppsala, Sweden
Department of Information Technologies, Division of Systems and Control, Uppsala University, SE-75105 Uppsala, Sweden
Department of Information Technology, Division of Visual Information and Interaction, Uppsala University, SE-75105 Uppsala, Sweden
Department of Health Sciences, Division of Health and Rehab, Luleå University of Technology, SE-97187 Luleå, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Marcia G. Ory and Matthew Lee Smith
Received: 24 January 2017 / Revised: 25 April 2017 / Accepted: 5 May 2017 / Published: 10 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aging and Health Promotion)
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The eBalance project is based on the idea that serious exergames—i.e., computer gaming systems with an interface that requires physical exertion to play—that are well adapted to users, can become a substantial part of a solution to recognized problems of insufficient engagement in fall-prevention exercise and the high levels of fall-related injuries among older people. This project is carried out as a collaboration between eight older people who have an interest in balance training and met the inclusion criteria of independence in personal activities of daily living, access to and basic knowledge of a computer, four staff working with the rehabilitation of older adults, and an interdisciplinary group of six research coordinators covering the areas of geriatric care and rehabilitation, as well as information technology and computer science. This paper describes the study protocol of the project’s initial phase which aims to develop a working partnership with potential users of fall-prevention exergames, including its conceptual underpinnings. The qualitative methodology was inspired by an ethnographical approach implying combining methods that allowed the design to evolve through the study based on the participants’ reflections. A participatory and appreciative action and reflection (PAAR) approach, accompanied by inquiries inspired by the Normalization Process Theory (NPT) was used in interactive workshops, including exergame testing, and between workshop activities. Data were collected through audio recordings, photos, and different types of written documentation. The findings provide a description of the methodology thus developed and applied. They display a methodology that can be useful for the design and development of care service and innovations for older persons where user participation is in focus. View Full-Text
Keywords: user participation; reflective practise; action research; co-learning; implementation user participation; reflective practise; action research; co-learning; implementation

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Åberg, A.C.; Halvorsen, K.; From, I.; Bruhn, Å.B.; Oestreicher, L.; Melander-Wikman, A. A Study Protocol for Applying User Participation and Co-Learning—Lessons Learned from the eBalance Project. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 512.

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