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Comprehensive overview of computer-based health information tailoring: a scoping review protocol

28 Dec 2017


Tailoring health information to the needs of individuals has become an important part of modern health communications. Tailoring has been addressed by researchers from different disciplines leading to the emergence of a wide range of approaches, making the newcomers confused. In order to address this, a comprehensive overview of the field with the indications of research gaps, tendencies and trends will be helpful. As a result, a systematic protocol was outlined to conduct a scoping review within the field of computer-based health information tailoring.

Methods and analysis

This protocol is based on the York’s five-stage framework outlined by Arksey and O’Malley. A field-specific structure was defined as a basis for undertaking each stage. The structure comprised three main aspects: system design, information communication and evaluation. Five leading databases were searched: PubMed, Scopus, Science Direct, EBSCO and IEEE and a broad search strategy was used with less strict inclusion criteria to cover the breadth of evidence. Theoretical frameworks were used to develop the data extraction form and a rigorous approach was introduced to identify the categories from data. Several explanatory-descriptive methods were considered to analyse the data, from which some were proposed to be employed for the first time in scoping studies.

Ethics and dissemination

This study investigates the breadth and depth of existing literature on computer-tailoring and as a secondary analysis, does not require ethics approval. We anticipate that the results will identify research gaps and novel ideas for future studies and provide direction to combine methods from different disciplines. The research findings will be submitted for publication to relevant peer-reviewed journals and conferences targeting health promotion and patient education.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in BMJ Open