Social Participation And Navigation (SPAN): Description and usability testing of new web site and application for adolescents and young adults with acquired brain injuries

Bedell Gary
Author e-mail
Tufts University

Introduction: Social Participation And Navigation (SPAN) was initially designed for adolescents/young adults with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). SPAN includes: 1)Coaching with college student (10 weekly virtual sessions); 2)Coach training/weekly supervision; 3)Information tips/topics; 4)Goal planning app. Prior usability and implementation testing results indicated that participants with TBI/brain tumors could develop social participation goals, create/implement action steps to achieve goals and demonstrate improved scores on selected measures of social functioning/participation. Technical challenges occurred with the mobile app designed for iPhones/iPads, so a new SPAN web site/app was created. The presentation will describe the new web-site/app and usability testing results.

Patients and methods: Study 1: Thirteen graduate Occupational Therapy students used website/app for two weeks and completed online survey; Study 2: Four teens with TBI attended one session to navigate website/app and respond to questions. Descriptive statistics used for rating scale responses; content analysis for open-ended feedback.

Results: Usability testing:>85% gave ratings of useful-higher for all but one feature. Creating steps/reminders for goals were most useful. Overall, navigation on computers/laptops was easy (with technical problems noted); smartphone platform was harder to view/type; Formative evaluation: Participants indicated homepage reflected what/who it was for, that they would share with others, but app needed clearer instructions.

Conclusion: New website/app( has promise but future testing needed. User guides and online instructions/examples were developed. Smartphone platform optimization will need to be explored.

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