What we are doing and why we are doing it
Where it all began
During a presentation by Professor Gunilla Widen on her information behaviour research, she mentioned the concept of ‘information avoidance’. My major medical condition, Type 1 diabetes, calls for a lot of data– and information-gathering by patients. Diabetes patients may need to gather data several times a day, and decide on large parts of their own treatment. But we all know that people aren’t always rational ‘information-consumers’. (Gunilla made this point very strongly.)
I began to wonder whether some people with diabetes avoid information about their conditions. If this happens, then it would be important to understand how prevalent such behaviour is. On a practical note, it would be useful to find whether and how people can be nudged into engaging with information to achieve better healthcare outcomes. I saw these questions as a possible opportunity to add to both healthcare and to information science theory.