Partners in Care: Design Considerations for Caregivers and Patients During a Hospital Stay.


Informal caregivers, such as close friends and family, play an important role in a hospital patient's care. Although CSCW researchers have shown the potential for social computing technologies to help patients and their caregivers manage chronic conditions and support health behavior change, few studies focus on caregivers’ role during a multi-day hospital stay. To explore this space, we conducted an interview and observation study of patients and caregivers in the inpatient setting. In this paper, we describe how caregivers and patients coordinate and collaborate to manage patients’ care and wellbeing during a hospital stay. We define and describe five roles caregivers adopt: companion, assistant, representative, navigator, and planner, and show how patients and caregivers negotiate these roles and responsibilities throughout a hospital stay. Finally, we identify key design considerations for technology to support patients and caregivers during a hospital stay.

CSCW 2016: Proceedings of the Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work