Inciting Incidents: How Can We Motivate Family Conversations about Health?

Jomara Sandbulte, Jordan Beck, Eun Kyoung Choe, John M. Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


In many families, there are obstacles to support and collaborate with one another around positive health outcomes. One obstacle in providing support to one another occurs when family members are unaware of the need. In this study, we examine aspects of family conversations about health that affect family members’ decision to share (or not to share) information within the family, specifically information about sleep behaviors and medication intake. We conducted an interview study with independent living elderly parents (n = 11) and adult children (n = 14). We present factors that motivate and discourage family members from talking about sleep and medication within the family. We identified that some family members shift sharing behaviors following life changes that we characterize as “inciting incidents.” We elaborate the concept of inciting incidents as a resource for design ideas and contribute with a synthesis of design insights for developing family-centered health technologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1122-1135
Number of pages14
JournalInternational journal of human-computer interaction
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jul 20 2020
Externally publishedYes

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© 2020, © 2020 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


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