Identify the activity-based design opportunities in the bereavement context: design for meaningful activities that empower the bereaved

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


    Positive outcomes following bereavement, such as greater resilience, personal growth and enhanced meaningfulness, have long been discussed and empirically studied in psychology. However, these aspects were less explored in previous HCI studies which focused on pain easing, mediating social support and digitalizing existing practices of commemorating. It does not suggest that previous studies did not contribute to enhancing post-bereavement well-being, but we claim that a significance emphasis on enhancing positive outcomes following bereavement is necessary. Otherwise studying death and bereavement in HCI could be morally disoriented and lack of thoughtfulness in humanity development.

    Therefore, this paper reports an explorative qualitative study of identifying how positive outcomes can be facilitated through bereavement activities and how these meaningful activities reflect needs to be supported by product service system. 12 participants from various nationalities and ages were recruited to report their bereavement experiences. The study included a sensitizing phase and an in-depth interview phase. The sensitizing phase was designed with writing and photo collaging assignments to revive participants’ memories and prepare them for the in-depth interview. Participants who completed the sensitizing task were invited to an 1-hour interview for further details of their bereavement coping activities, needs for external support and their reflections on the outcomes of bereavement. The content analysis involved 4 coders to code the interview data (Holsti’s coefficient 0.825) in 3 domains, meaningful activities, positive outcomes and external supports.

    The result suggested 4 positive outcomes that were explicitly reported by the participants and 11 meaningful activities that have strong potential to facilitate these positive outcomes. This study reflected how the bereaved individuals spontaneously engage in and manage their grief and life changes and how critical the activities could facilitate positive outcomes. We then concluded this article with the design implications and discussions from the study.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2016


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