What matters to me – a web-based preference elicitation tool for clients in long-term care: a user-centred design

Catharina M. van Leersum*, Albine Moser, Ben van Steenkiste, Marion Reinartz, Esther Stoffers, Judith R. L. M. Wolf, Trudy van der Weijden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


During the process of decision-making for long-term care, clients are often dependent on informal support and available information about quality ratings of care services. However, clients do not take ratings into account when considering preferred care, and need assistance to understand their preferences. A tool to elicit preferences for long-term care could be beneficial. Therefore, the aim of this qualitative descriptive study is to understand the user requirements and develop a web-based preference elicitation tool for clients in need of long-term care.
We applied a user-centred design in which end-users influence the development of the tool. The included end-users were clients, relatives, and healthcare professionals. Data collection took place between November 2017 and March 2018 by means of meetings with the development team consisting of four users, walkthrough interviews with 21 individual users, video-audio recordings, field notes, and observations during the use of the tool. Data were collected during three phases of iteration: Look and feel, Navigation, and Content. A deductive and inductive content analysis approach was used for data analysis.
The layout was considered accessible and easy during the Look and feel phase, and users asked for neutral images. Users found navigation easy, and expressed the need for concise and shorter text blocks. Users reached consensus about the categories of preferences, wished to adjust the content with propositions about well-being, and discussed linguistic difficulties.
By incorporating the requirements of end-users, the user-centred design proved to be useful in progressing from the prototype to the finalized tool ‘What matters to me’. This tool may assist the elicitation of client’s preferences in their search for long-term care.
Original languageEnglish
Article number57
Number of pages12
JournalBMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Decision support techniques
  • Long-term care
  • Patient preferences
  • Preference elicitation
  • User requirements
  • User-Centred design


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