Sarah Fadem


Sarah Fadem
Doctoral Candidate | Rutgers University

Sarah Fadem is a doctoral candidate at the Rutgers University School of Communication and Information, studying health communication and practical theory. Her research focuses on the development and application of a theory of design for sensemaking support for patients, caregivers, and providers facing high-risk medical decisions. She specializes in participatory design methods and is currently working on a sensemaking support system for acute leukemia patients considering bone marrow transplant. Originally trained as a product designer, her interest in health communication stems from a desire to develop tools that enable people to better understand and manage their health.



Medical Design Deep Dive 2020 Session Description

Participatory Design to Support Sensemaking in High-Risk Medical Decision-Making

Despite recognition of the important role of patient input in treatment decisions, participatory design (PD) has yet to become commonly used in the design of decision aids (DAs). This session will describe a methodology that uses PD to develop support tools targeting patient/caregiver sensemaking for high-risk medical decisions. Design for sensemaking encourages development of tools that go beyond information provision to support the conceptual structures and affective needs of multiple stakeholders. Practical application of this methodology will be illustrated using a case study concerning the design of a DA for acute leukemia patients.