Culture and Adoption of IT – My PhD Student’s Speciality

Culture is one factor that influences the adoption of IT, and it is yet another factor that needs to be taken into consideration when implementing IT systems in organisations.

Today Shweta Premadanan will present her work for her group of supervisors (of which I am one of the co-supervisors). The Viva today is based on a theoretical description of the research area and the background of the thesis. She has done a thorough literature review in the area of culture and adoption of eGovernment systems, and is planning to do a survey study and an interview study in the future. The studies will be made in Sweden and in India to be able to see two different cultural settings.

The theories that she has looked into include for example theories of user adoption which I think is an interesting area. Some of the theories she has looked into and compare are:

  • The technology acceptance model
  • Motivational model
  • Theory of planned behavior
  • Unified theory of acceptance and use of technology


The research questions that will be addressed will start in the Globe definition of culture (House et al, 2002) and include what dimensions of National culture as defined by the Globe study affect adoption, and in what way these dimensions affect?

I have done some studies on culture, but from the perspective of scaffolding cultural competence so the theories used in the theses related to culture are new to me. My papers in the area are found here:

I am very much looking forward to following Shwetas work in the future, and will for sure learn a lot about user adoption and culture.



Lessons Learned from Discussing Implementation of Psychosocial Support and Psychological Treatment via Internet – U-care

Last week I attended a very well organized day related to implementation of psychosocial support and psychological treatment via the internet organized by the U-care programme. There were lots of experienced researchers from all over the world present at the U-care venue, and presentations of relevant areas were mixed with workshops around implementation of IT in health care. Unfortunately, I had to run off a couple of hours in the middle of the day, but next time this kind of venue is organized I will try to attend the whole day. 

I especially enjoyed Anders Brantnells presentation of “Implementation of Complex Interventions – What does research say”. In this presentation, he went through relevant theories related to barriers and enablers when implementing, and we then got to discuss them in relation to implementation of IT in primary care. 

Some lessons learned from these discussions about implementation were: 

  • There are indeed numerous models related to implementation of IT. The ones discussed at the U-care event were very related to health care as such, and perhaps it is necessary to have specific models for different areas of application?
  • What kind of knowledge is possible to gain from implemenation research as it is done in many health care projects? What is not possible to learn? According to Wikipedia implemenation research is “Often, research projects focus on small scale pilot studies or laboratory-based experiments, and assume that findings can be generalised to roll out into a practice-based domain with few changes.”

Positive Experiences from Shared Decision Making in Health Care

Health care is transforming, many argue, from a very hierarchial and paternalistic approach to health care where physicians are the active part, and the patients are passive. The new approach includes a relationtship where the physicans and the patients are more on equal terms, and where there is a mutual partnership in the relationship (as pieces of a puzzle, as the image to this blog post.)

Some would argue that this transformation is too slow, and that there are numerous obstacles to this transformation such as the desire to maintain control, lack of time and personal beliefs. I do believe that the mutual partnership approach is much better than the old approach, and that shared decision making is the future of health care. 

I went to the doctor last week for a check up, and of course I could not help but to do some observations in relation to a paper that the DOME reserachers and I are writing on shared decision making. During the analysis of the interviews for this paper we were quite worried about the state of Swedish health care when it comes to shared decision making and a patient centred approach to health care.

However, my experience from this session at the doctor was that the physicial indeed did ask me about what we should do, and I really felt like I was the one deciding!

Things might be moving in the right direction after all?

Six Good Practices to Learn from When Writing Applications with an International Team

This spring I have been working on a large EU application in the area of eHealth together with a large team of people from different countries. I’ve never been a part of such an effort before and so far, it has been a good learning experience to see how to get such a large application written. Before this writing process I knew only one of the other researchers, and Jonas Moll from the HTO group is joining me in this effort.

The writing process has been coordinated by two people who work closely together with writing everything, and sections of the text has been mailed to all the participants and work package leaders to review.

The writing process has had good support from UU innovation and the EU coordinators at Uppsala university. Among other things they have funded the application team so that we have had the chance to meet a couple of times to discuss and write.

This week the whole application was sent out to us for review, and next week it will be sent to people who will do a pre-review of the text. The deadline for the application is not until later on this spring, so there is time to rewrite and improve the text after this pre-review.

Some good practices to learn from in this application writing process are:

  1. Meet and discuss IRL. It’s really good to meet and discuss and not just using Skype. There is funding available for such meetings at our university. Perhaps also at yours?
  2. Distribute meeting notes. There are always meeting notes sent out after each meeting. These have clear indications of what is expected of you to do.
  3. Have clear deadlines. The mails with documents with sections of text always contain a deadline when the text is to be sent back.
  4. Have one person in charge. There is really one person writing most of the text which makes it look like “one voice” (of course).
  5. Have someone to do a pre-review. Having a pre-review process with an external reviewer who reads and comments is really a great idea.
  6. Start in good time. The time planning of this work is really good. We started the process already before Christmas, and we have almost 6 months to write the text.


Let’s see how the pre-review goes, and let’s hope that this project is funded 🙂

Easter Holiday Week

This week I’m off work and will spend some time with my four kids and husband. The plan is to do some biking with my 14-year-old, do some gardening and most of all to relax. We’re hoping for nice weather, and slow days with occasional trips if we get bored.

I hope that you have a nice Easter holiday!



Different Roles in Academia

Sometimes I wonder how I should know where I am heading, and what I want to do when I grow up?? And I know that I am a grown up who should know by now…  But too many things seem to be interesting! Do you have the same feeling?

It’s soon been seven years since i defended my PhD. And now I have feeling like there are many different possible futures, much depending on what possibilities that show up but of course also depending on me. I have recently said no to several possible future avenues, and I have understood that this is necessary in Academia from listening to all the pods of this pod cast that I strongly  recommend:  Changing Academic Life.

Some of the things they say in the Changing Academic Life pod are:

  • “There is always another possibility coming up”,
  • “I celebrate saying no to things with champagne” and
  • “You cannot be on every committe that wants you”.

When I was a Phd student I did’t really understand what different possibilities were ahead of me as a reseracher. Instead I was very happy about the current situation and wrote papers in different areas with different people. I think I thought that things would be the same when I had my PhD. I sat in my chair as a Phd student and enjoyed the show in academia, just like the picture in this blog. I was a good co-worker always delivering on time, and with OK quality, but not the one in charge and in some way not a part of the chaos loop at work. Of course it was stressful at times, and problems occured, but mostly I rememer it as a good learning experience and that someone else took care of me.

It turns out I was wrong about the future being the same as the past, and there are indeed many different areas to explore as different kinds of reserachers. Being a reseracher really includes so many different jobs! I have a permanent ten-year-track position at the university, so I am not talking about changing employment, but about the possible things I could do as a part of this permanent position.

Where are you heading in your work life? Do you have a plan? Where do you want to in your carreer in five years, or in ten years? Please let me know!

Working with Reviewing Applications to the Upcoming eHealth Summer School in Dublin + Stockholm

We got more than 60 applications to the eHealth summer school, and I spent two working days going through the different applications. We will accept 36 of the applicants. Reviewing all these applications was of course hard work, but also quite a learning experience. We used a list of criteria when reviewing, and this made it easier and quicker. My collegues in the organising committe are now working in finalizing the results.

There were indeed very interesting research project in the applications. Here are some of my observations from this review process:

  • One can conclude that HCI is a very broad area when it comes to health care applications. There is a large variety of areas coverend, and with different perspectives in the reserach approach.
  • Many applications were quite loosely connected to health care, and were more of the caracter of pilot studies.
  • Some deceases such as diabetes and depression were quite popular.
  • There were indeed a high percentage of women researchers (!)! Much higher than in computer science.

– I am so much looking forward to this summer school!



Gender Equality – Does it Really Get Better?

This week I revisited the school class with 12/13-year-olds (that I blogged about here) with a follow up lecture on gender equality. Extremely FUN!

Before this lecture the children had done an interview with an elderly person about how it worked with gender equality when they were kids. I had given them instructions on how to do an interview, and they had prepared interview templates. They then recorded the interviews using their iPads from school.

We started this lecture by loooking at the films and then we discussed:

Gender Equality – Does it Really Get Better?

What is the difference between how it works now and how it worked when the interviewed people were young?

What were the difference between the stories that the people told in their interviews?

The kids had the following answers to these questions:

  • Life seemed to be easier before, and many of the interviewed people said that life was better when they were kids. However, it was difficult to understand why!
  • All moms took care of the kids.
  • Dads worked and did sports
  • Moms did all the cooking, cleaning and housework.

Lessons learned from this experience:

  • Some kids interpreted “elderly people” as people in their 40’s  :-o.
  • The kids really enjoyed listening to the films with the interviews.
  • The kids enjoyed it as much as I did. 🙂
  • Next time I will see to it that I can watch the interviews before the lecture and be a bit more prepared.

Collaborative Project with the Department of Finances

My research group, the  HTO group have just worked out a contract for a participatory research project with the finance department at Uppsala University.

In this project we will collaborate with the department of finances and do action reserach related to the following areas:

  • Usability mentoring about working in different roles with the aspect of digital work environments in mind.
  • Vision seminars about the future work with economy with a special focus on communication, development of competencies and deploymen of IT.
  • Education and the introduction of new IT systems.

We will be recruiting people to this project – so look out for the ad.We are looking for reserachers who have a PhD in areas related to digital work environments, and who are looking for a post doc position in a dynamic and growing reserach group.


DOME conference on Medical Records Online in Skövde

We had a great Dome conference in Skövde about our research on medical records online. There were 12 reserachers present during this conference from a large number of universities. The first day there were some presentations of new and upcoming studies of the effects of patients reading their medical records online.

Erebouni Arakelian who has a PhD in medicine joined a Dome meeting for the first time and presented the plan for a study on the patient group that she is working with, and that she has done studies on before. She will do 30 interviews during the coming years, and has already gotten ethical approval for her study.

Bridget Kane who does reserch in HCI and in Computer Supported Collaborative Work also joined the meeting for the first time and she did a presentation of her previous studies and what she has done in her work. She has covered a very interesting, and large area related to eHealth.

It was interesting to hear about the plans for the upcoming studies, and to discuss what areas we should look more into based on previous findings. Here are some of the upcoming  studies:

  • Interview study with cancer patients by Ereboni Arakelian as a follow up to the national survey sent out in the fall of 2016 and the interviews made around 2013.
  • Interview and survey study with health care professionals at the Oncology department about the effects on the work environment. Jonas Moll it in charge of this study and bloggs about this study here if you want to know more. (this study is a part of the Disa project)
  • Interviews with patients in primary care about their use of medical records online (as a part of Maria Hägglund and Isabella Scandurra’s project Pacess)

There were some new members of the consortium present at the conference, and some old members have moved on to other research areas. I am however really glad to see that we have created an open and well functioning community where newcomers are very welcome.