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author:("White, megan")
1.  The value of usability testing for Internet-based adolescent self-management interventions: “Managing Hemophilia Online” 
As adolescents with hemophilia approach adulthood, they are expected to assume responsibility for their disease management. A bilingual (English and French) Internet-based self-management program, “Teens Taking Charge: Managing Hemophilia Online,” was developed to support adolescents with hemophilia in this transition. This study explored the usability of the website and resulted in refinement of the prototype.
A purposive sample (n=18; age 13–18; mean age 15.5 years) was recruited from two tertiary care centers to assess the usability of the program in English and French. Qualitative observations using a “think aloud” usability testing method and semi-structured interviews were conducted in four iterative cycles, with changes to the prototype made as necessary following each cycle. This study was approved by research ethics boards at each site.
Teens responded positively to the content and appearance of the website and felt that it was easy to navigate and understand. The multimedia components (videos, animations, quizzes) were felt to enrich the experience. Changes to the presentation of content and the website user-interface were made after the first, second and third cycles of testing in English. Cycle four did not result in any further changes.
Overall, teens found the website to be easy to use. Usability testing identified end-user concerns that informed improvements to the program. Usability testing is a crucial step in the development of Internet-based self-management programs to ensure information is delivered in a manner that is accessible and understood by users.
PMCID: PMC3856537  PMID: 24094082
Usability testing; Internet; Patient education; Self-management; Adolescent; Hemophilia
2.  Measurement Properties of Questionnaires Assessing Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use in Pediatrics: A Systematic Review 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e39611.
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is commonly used by children, but estimates of that use vary widely partly due to the range of questionnaires used to assess CAM use. However, no studies have attempted to appraise measurement properties of these questionnaires. The aim of this systematic review was to critically appraise and summarize measurement properties of questionnaires of CAM use in pediatrics.
Study design
A search strategy was implemented in major electronic databases in March 2011 and conference websites, scientific journals and experts were consulted. Studies were included if they mentioned a questionnaire assessing the prevalence of CAM use in pediatrics. Members of the team independently rated the methodological quality of the studies (using the COSMIN checklist) and measurement properties of the questionnaires (using the Terwee and Cohen criteria).
A total of 96 CAM questionnaires were found in 104 publications. The COSMIN checklist showed that no studies reported adequate methodological quality. The Terwee criteria showed that all included CAM questionnaires had indeterminate measurement properties. According to the Cohen score, none were considered to be a well-established assessment, two approached the level of a well-established assessment, seven were promising assessments and the remainder (n = 87) did not reach the score’s minimum standards.
None of the identified CAM questionnaires have been thoroughly validated. This systematic review highlights the need for proper validation of CAM questionnaires in pediatrics, which may in turn lead to improved research and knowledge translation about CAM in clinical practice.
PMCID: PMC3387262  PMID: 22768098
3.  Orexin Receptor Subtype Activation and Locomotor Behavior in the Rat 
Acta physiologica (Oxford, England)  2009;198(3):313-324.
Orexin producing neurons, located primarily in the perifornical region of the lateral hypothalamus, project to a wide spectrum of brain sites where they influence numerous behaviors as well as modulating the neuroendocrine and autonomic responses to stress. While some of the actions of orexin appear to be mediated via the type 1 receptor, some are not, including its action on the release of one stress hormone, prolactin. We describe here the ability of orexin to increase locomotor behaviors and identify the importance of both receptor subtypes in these actions.
Rats were tested for their behavioral responses to the central activation of both the type 1 (OX1R) and type 2 (OX2R) receptor (ICV orexin A), as compared to OX2R activation using a relatively selective OX2R agonist in the absence or presence of an orexin receptor antagonist that possesses highest affinity for the OX1R.
Increases in locomotor activity were observed, effects which were expressed by not only orexin A, which binds to both the OX1R and the OX2R receptors, but also by the relatively selective OX2R agonist, [(Ala11, Leu15)-orexin B]. Furthermore the OX1R selective antagonist only partially blocked the action of orexin A on most locomotor behaviors and did not block the actions of [(Ala11, Leu15)-orexin B].
We conclude that orexin A exerts its effects on locomotor behavior via both the OX1R and OX2R and that agonism or antagonism of only one of these receptors for therapeutic purposes (i.e. sleep disorders) would not provide selectivity in terms of associated behavioral side effects.
PMCID: PMC2860644  PMID: 19889100
Orexin; Orexin Receptors; Locomotor Behavior; Stereotypy
4.  Usability Testing of an Online Self-management Program for Adolescents With Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis 
A new bilingual (English and French) Internet-based self-management program, Teens Taking Charge: Managing Arthritis Online, for adolescents with arthritis and their parents was developed following a needs assessment.
This study explored the usability (user performance and satisfaction) of the self-management program for youth with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and their parents to refine the health portal prototype.
A qualitative study design with semi-structured, audio taped interviews and observation by a trained observer was undertaken with two iterative cycles to determine the usability (ease of use, efficiency, errors, and user satisfaction) of the user interface and content areas of the intervention. A purposive sample of English-speaking (n = 11; mean age = 15.4, standard deviation [SD] 1.7) and French-speaking (n = 8; mean age = 16.0, SD 1.2) adolescents with JIA and one of their respective parents/caregivers were recruited from 2 Canadian tertiary care centers. Descriptive statistics and simple content analyses were used to organize data into categories that reflected the emerging usability themes.
All of the participants had access to a computer/Internet at home; however, adolescents were more comfortable using the computer/Internet than their parents. Adolescents and parents provided similar as well as differing suggestions on how the website user interface could be improved in terms of its usability (navigation; presentation and control usage errors; format and layout; as well as areas for further content development). There were no major differences in usability issues between English- and French-speaking participants. Minor changes to the website user interface were made and tested in a second cycle of participants. No further usability problems were identified in the second iterative cycle of testing. Teens and parents responded positively to the appearance and theme of the website (ie, promoting self-management) and felt that it was easy to navigate, use, and understand. Participants felt that the content was appropriate and geared to meet the unique needs of adolescents with JIA and their parents as well as English- and French-speaking families. Many participants responded that the interactive features (discussion board, stories of hope, and video clips of youth with JIA) made them feel supported and “not alone” in their illness.
We describe the usability testing of a self-management health portal designed for English- and French-speaking youth with arthritis and their parents, which uncovered several usability issues. Usability testing is a crucial step in the development of self-management health portals to ensure that the various end users (youth and parents) have the ability to access, understand, and use health-related information and services that are delivered via the Internet and that they are delivered in an efficient, effective, satisfying, and culturally competent manner.
PMCID: PMC2956330  PMID: 20675293
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis; Internet; usability testing; self-management; adolescent

Results 1-4 (4)