Methods Inf Med 2022; 61(03/04): 123-138
DOI: 10.1055/s-0042-1749359
Original Article

Eliciting Information Needs of Child Patients: Adapting the Kano Model to the Design of mHealth Applications

Sune Dueholm Müller
1   Department of Informatics, University of Oslo, Ole-Johan Dahls Hus, Oslo, Norway
Georgios Tsirozidis
2   Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
Morten Mathiasen
3   Research and IT, Business Academy Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark
Louise Nordenhof
2   Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
Daniel Jakobsen
2   Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
Birgitte Mahler
4   Department of Paediatrics, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark
› Author Affiliations


Background Health care services are increasingly being digitized, but extant literature shows that digital technologies and applications are often developed without careful consideration of user needs. Research is needed to identify and investigate best-in-class methods to support user-centered design of mHealth applications.

Objectives The article investigates how the Kano model can be adapted and used for the purpose of eliciting child patients' information needs during the design phase of mHealth application development. The aim is to demonstrate its applicability for collecting and analyzing patient-centered data that are key to designing technology-supported solutions for health management.

Methods The article is based on a mixed-methods case study, which includes interviews with 21 patients aged 6 to 18. Structured interviews are analyzed based on prescriptions of the Kano model. Semi-structured interviews about child patients' information needs are analyzed thematically.

Results The results demonstrate several improvements to the Kano model that take into account the difficulties of effectively communicating with child patients. The combination of two types of interviews offers unique insights into the what, how, and why of patients' needs. Adaptation of the Kano model, simplification of response options, and participation of child patients' parents in interviews facilitate data collection.

Conclusion The article shows how the Kano model can be adapted to provide an effective means of eliciting child patients' needs. Adapting the model by combining structured and semi-structured interviews makes it a powerful tool in designing mHealth applications.

Supplementary Material

Publication History

Received: 02 December 2021

Accepted: 14 April 2022

Article published online:
11 October 2022

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