Who, When, How - Guiding the active involvement of stakeholders in eHealth Action Research

Kira Oberschmidt

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research external, graduation UT

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Action Research (AR) is a form of iterative, collaborative research that takes place in practice and actively involves stakeholders as co-researchers. It is increasingly used in the field of eHealth, which focuses on the development and implementation of technology in the healthcare context. AR holds many benefits for eHealth research, as it can ensure a better fit between technology and practice. However, conducting AR is complex and time-consuming, especially in the healthcare context where stakeholders already experience high workload. This thesis therefore looks at how those conducting eHealth projects can be guided in doing AR. The state of the art is described first, through a review of eHealth AR literature. This is followed by chapters on the different roles and types of involvement in eHealth AR, like so called ‘champions’ of a research project, or looking at how outsiders can be involved in a project spontaneously. Then, several chapters are dedicated to how different stakeholders interact and communicate with each other within an eHealth AR project. This for example includes alignment of interests between stakeholders, and a tool for collaborative reflection. All chapters provide recommendations that others can implement into their practice. These recommendations are bundled in the last part, and combined with literature to develop a framework for active stakeholder involvement in eHealth AR. The framework was evaluated with experts and action researchers from the field, and updated based on their input. The thesis ends with a reflection on the role of meta-researcher which can allow a more methodological perspective on doing eHealth AR research, rather than just reporting outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • Tabak, Monique, Supervisor
  • Grünloh, Christiane, Co-Supervisor
Thesis sponsors
Award date19 Jan 2024
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-5866-2
Electronic ISBNs978-90-365-5867-9
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jan 2024


  • Action Research
  • eHealth
  • Stakeholder Involvement


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