Usability evaluation of the interactive personal patient profile-prostate decision support system with African American men

Cheedy Jaja, Jose Pares-Avila, Seth Wolpin, Donna Berry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: The Personal Patient Profile-Prostate (P4) program is an interactive Web-based decision support system that provides men with localized prostate cancer customized education and coaching with which to make the best personal treatment decision. This study assessed functionality and usability of the P4 program and identified problems in user-computer interaction in a sample of African American men. Methods: Usability testing was conducted with 12 community-dwelling African American adult men. The health status of participants was not known or collected by the research team. Each participant worked with the P4 program and provided simultaneous feedback using the "think aloud" technique. Handwritten field notes were collated and assigned to 3 standard coded categories. Aspects of P4 program usability was made based on common issues in the assigned categories. Summary statistics were derived for types and frequency of usability issues noted in the coded data. Results: Twelve participants reported a total of 122 usability comments, with a mean of 9 usability comments. The most common usability issue by participant was completeness of information content, which comprised 53 (43%) of the total issues. Comprehensibility of text and graphics was second, comprising 51 (42%) of the total issues. Conclusion: This study provided initial inventory of usability issues for community African American men that may potentially interfere with application of the P4 system in the community setting and overall system usability, confirming the need for usability testing of a culturally appropriate Internet-based decision support system before community application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290-297
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the National Medical Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • African Americans
  • Knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs
  • Men's health
  • Prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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