The development of persuasive design theory to improve patient engagement with therapeutic exercises in people with rheumatoid arthritis

  • Thomas Ainsworth

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis presents the development of persuasive design theory to effect behaviour change amongst patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Drawing on research from the disciplines of design, social psychology and healthcare, this study defines ‘persuasive design’ as an area of design research which seeks to change a person’s attitude or behaviour for the benefit of their health and in concordance with their own ambitions. The research aim is to support patient engagement with long-term therapeutic exercise recommendations specifically for the hand. This is achieved by identifying ‘designable factors’ ideas, objects, and environments (virtual and real), which are specific to people with RA and can be identified, examined, understood and selectively influenced to increase the ability and willingness of users to engage with long-term therapeutic exercise recommendations. The research explores existing motivations and interests, embedded within daily life activities that can be targeted to incorporate therapeutic exercise interventions. To achieve this a qualitative research methodology was adopted, consisting of photographic ‘cultural probe’ and ‘photo elicitation’ methods, which were utilised within a focus group setting.
Date of AwardApr 2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Brighton
SupervisorInam Haq (Supervisor), Jonathan Woodham (Supervisor) & Jyri Kermik (Supervisor)

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