Mobile ‘selfie’ video studies: Getting closer to patient’s daily lives
  • February 11, 2017

Mobile ‘selfie’ video studies: Getting closer to patient’s daily lives

Research that incorporates mobile video, generated directly by participants is a powerful way to access the daily lives of patients around the world.

The benefits of mobile video methods

When using mobile video methods, we have found:

  • We capture a more personal and intimate glimpse into patients lives as they can reflect and confide at their own pace without the intrusion of a stranger in their home
  • We see things we didn’t expect to find because patients have the freedom to choose topics relevant to them
  • We get a more holistic picture and more context to findings as we see patients’ lives when they show us their homes, families, behaviours etc.
  • The findings can have more impact because the video offers clients a more personal and emotional connection with patients.

Client example

In a recent study we used the mobile ‘selfie’ video approach amongst patients with a musculoskeletal condition. Documenting a ‘week in the life’ of patients, the study allowed our client to understand the impact of the condition on people’s lives at a more personal level, including:

  • Symptom burden and day-to-day difficulties
  • The strains on social lives and relationships
  • The impact on employment and finances
  • Effects on emotional health and wellbeing
  • Treatment experiences and treatment burden
  • The support people seek and receive.

Participants spent a week keeping a video diary, filming themselves doing everyday activities, and answering a series of reflective questions. Not only did we get a unique insight into what patients were thinking and feeling, we also got to see their lives. For example, we watched someone adapting their cooking behaviour to cope with symptoms, we saw the impact on a marriage as a woman chatted with her husband, we were shown around people’s fridges as they discussed their diet, and we watched how people were trying to manage their condition through movement and exercise.

The final report provided thematic insights drawn from across the sample and personal case studies based on individual patients. Analysing the data, we could contextualise people’s views with the things they had shown us (their behaviours, settings, body language etc.). The project had greater impact internally as the written findings were brought to life using the videos, enabling a more personal connection with a group of real patients and their lives.

Mobile selfie video project summary

Finding out more

For more information about our work and to discuss how our range of qualitative techniques can help you get closer to patients’ lives, please contact:

Ben Hickman, Research Director ben.hickman@alterline.co.uk

+44 0161 605 0862