The Importance of Form Field Validation: Lesson Learnt From a Feasibility Study of an M-Health Application in Malawi, Africa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding


Measuring adherence to clinical guidelines using mobile health (mHealth) technologies when form field validation is enforced or turned on could potentially be viewed as skewing the dataset, leading to 100% adherence to the clinical rule base. In theory, healthcare providers should fully abide by clinical guidelines, whether in paper or digital format, to ensure that the patient receives appropriate care. However, what happens when mHealth form field
validation is turned off? As part of a feasibility study in Malawi, Africa, we explored this phenomenon. Switching off validation on the mHealth
artefact served its purpose within the context of a feasibility study where a parallel paper-based clinical assessment process remained in place. The design of this technical artefact with the turnkey validation feature afforded us the opportunity to turn validation on and off seamlessly. Ultimately, from an ethical, clinical and technical perspective the optimum approach is to ensure
that form field validation is switched on. With form field validation on adherence to the clinical guidelines is enforced which minimises incomplete assessment and the potential for suboptimal clinical decisions that could adversely affect patient care.


  • Yvonne O'Connor
  • Victoria Hardy
  • Matthew Thompson
  • Nikolaos Mastellos
  • Tammy Tram
  • John O'Donoghue
  • Griphin Baxter Chirambo
  • Bo Andersson
  • Sven Carlsson
  • Ciara Heavin
External organisations
  • University College Cork
  • University of Washington
  • Imperial College London
  • Mzuzu University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Information Systems, Social aspects
  • Health Sciences


  • mHealth, Validation, Adherence, Clinical Decision Support Systems (CDSS), Developing Countries
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPacific Asia Conference on Information Systems Proceedings
PublisherPacific Asia Conference on Information Systems (PACIS)
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9789860491029
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Publication categoryResearch
EventPacific Asia Conference on Information Systems, 2016 - Nice Prince Hotel, Chiayi, Taiwan, Province of China
Duration: 2016 Jun 272016 Jul 1


ConferencePacific Asia Conference on Information Systems, 2016
Abbreviated titlePACIS 2016
CountryTaiwan, Province of China

Related projects

Sven Carlsson, Bo Andersson & John O'Donoghue

European Commission - FP7


Project: ResearchInternational collaboration

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