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Online Information-Seeking Behaviours of Men Experiencing Fertility Difficulties

Patel, Dilisha; (2023) Online Information-Seeking Behaviours of Men Experiencing Fertility Difficulties. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis aims to understand the online information-seeking behaviours of men and how they make sense of and find meaning during their fertility journeys. This research contributes to understanding how online digital tools can support men to fulfil their sense-making and meaning-making needs when they experience fertility difficulties. Research that explores support for pregnancy planning and fertility has predominantly focused on women, and men’s views and experiences are often excluded. A review of existing literature revealed that men were likely to seek digital sources of health-related information for ease and privacy. However, it is yet to be understood how digital tools can best support this population or the opportunities where digital tools would be preferred and used by men. Therefore, this thesis used a qualitative approach to investigate men’s needs when they experienced fertility difficulties and how these needs could be fulfilled using digital tools. Men were found to mainly want information and both practical and emotional support during this time, which led to an instantiation of the ‘finding a new normal’ model based on the analysis of online forum data. Further analysis revealed that this model is also relevant for men outside online forums. Findings from the interview study led to the development of a novel presentation of the fertility journey represented by 9 stages from trying to conceive to conception, through interactions with health services as experienced by men. I highlight how men’s information needs evolve along their fertility journey and how they make sense of and find meaning in information to support the acceptance of a new normal. Participants identified their preference for information to be presented and made available through digital means; therefore, men’s needs were translated into requirements for a digital tool. An evaluation study found that existing digital tools do not completely fulfil men’s evolving requirements for information and support and there is an opportunity for digital tools to be better designed to support men to make sense of, and find meaning in, online information when they experience fertility difficulties.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Online Information-Seeking Behaviours of Men Experiencing Fertility Difficulties
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2022. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
Keywords: Digital Health, Fertility, HCI, Information Seeking
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > UCL Interaction Centre
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10163774
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