Finding Calm in a Perfect Storm

Stella Boess, Elaha Zarabi, Christiaan Uythoven, Gerald Kraan


This paper presents insights from an exploratory study into the experience of orthopaedic rehabilitation that sought to support patients in self-care. In a research-through-design study, rough prototypes were generated and patient needs elicited. The project was a collaboration between an academic designer, a design agency, and an orthopaedic surgeon, and included perspectives from hand therapists and patients themselves. The study showed that patients greatly appreciate data support of hand rehabilitation exercises, because it helps them adjust and pace their perspective and experience of getting better. From a reflection on the prototypes in relation to the patient experience we also concluded that the prototypes do not fully help patients with one thing yet: not doing anything and staying calm. This yielded a new research goal and thus a new sub-program of research.

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