Quantifying the body and caring for the mind: Self-tracking in multiple sclerosis

Amid Ayobi, Paul Marshall, Anna L. Cox, Yunan Chen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Consumer health technologies have an enormous potential to transform the self-management of chronic conditions. However, it is unclear how individuals use self-tracking technologies to manage them. This in-depth interview study explores self-tracking practices in multiple sclerosis (MS), a complex neurological disease that causes physical, cognitive, and psychological symptoms. Our findings illustrate that when faced the unpredictable and degenerative nature of MS, individuals regained a sense of control by intertwining self-care practices with different self-tracking technologies. They engaged in disease monitoring, fitness tracking, and life journaling to quantify the body and care for the mind. We focus attention on the role of emotional wellbeing and the experience of control in self-tracking and managing MS. Finally, we discuss in which ways self-tracking technologies could support the experiential nature of control and foster mindful experiences rather than focusing only on tracking primary disease indicators. Copyright is held by the owner/author(s). Publication rights licensed to ACM.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2017 - Proceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Subtitle of host publicationExplore, Innovate, Inspire
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Pages6889-6901
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781450346559
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2017
Event2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2017 - Denver, United States
Duration: 6 May 201711 May 2017

Conference

Conference2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2017
CountryUnited States
CityDenver
Period6/05/1711/05/17

Keywords

  • Chronic conditions
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Perceived control
  • Personal informatics
  • Self-care technologies
  • Self-tracking

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