An exploration of involvement in the co-design of mammography machines : the power of the user’s voice

Bird, SL 2016, An exploration of involvement in the co-design of mammography machines : the power of the user’s voice , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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This study aimed to explore and analyse the co-design of medical equipment in order to make recommendations, by gaining an understanding of the involvement and aspects of the group that influence involvement in the process of co-design.


This qualitative study followed one group made up of mammography machine users, mammographic practitioners and mammography clients through a process of co-design. Data was collected through individual interviews with group members and video footage of co-design meetings. An iterative exploratory approach was implemented using Framework Analysis (FA) as a tool to manage data and structure the argument presented in this thesis.


The knowledge each user held was found to influence their involvement in the design process. Experiential knowledge of both the practitioner and client was considered valuable and important in understanding the current problem. However, clinical knowledge, held primarily by the mammographic practitioner, was used to make decisions and evaluate ideas. The findings highlight the power of clinical knowledge in idea evaluation and decision-making. The thesis found that practitioners and clients need to re-negotiate their roles during co-design in order for both to actively participate in the development and selection of ideas and solutions. The time spent together had an impact on the user co-design group’s dynamics as they moved through stages of development. This study has added to the existing theories on co-design between health professionals and clients, identifying power issues between client and practitioner sub-groups as well as instances in which they are likely to occur throughout the design process. This study has also added a unique contribution of studying co-design in the context of medical equipment design, as the majority of literature lies in the redesign of services.


Recommendations in the form of group member and support, along with suggestions for facilitators to consider, are specified for future design practitioners, when implementing the co-design of medical equipment.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > School of Health Sciences
Depositing User: Samantha Louise Bird
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2018 12:54
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 23:33

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