Acceptability and feasibility of recruitment and data collection in a field study of hospital nurses' handoffs using mobile devices

Patrick Lavoie, Sean P. Clarke, Christina Clausen, Margaret Purden, Jessica Emed, Tanya Mailhot, Valerie Frunchak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The portability and multiple functionalities of mobile devices make them well suited for collecting field data for naturalistic research, which is often beset with complexities in recruitment and logistics. This paper describes the implementation of a research protocol using mobile devices to study nurses' exchanges of patient information at change of shift. Methods: Nurses from three medical and surgical units of an acute care teaching hospital in Montreal, Canada, were invited to participate. On 10 selected days, participants were asked to record their handoffs using mobile devices and to complete paper questionnaires regarding these exchanges. Nurse acceptance of mobile devices was assessed using a 30-item technology acceptance questionnaire and focus group interviews. The principal feasibility indicator was whether or not 80 complete handoffs could be collected on each unit. Results: From October to December 2017, 63 of 108 eligible nurses completed the study. Results suggest that the use of mobile devices was acceptable to nurses, who felt that the devices were easy to use but did not improve their job performance. The principal feasibility criterion was met, with complete data collected for 176, 84, and 170 of the eligible handoffs on each unit (81% of eligible handoffs). The research protocol was acceptable to nurses, who felt the study's demands did not interfere with their clinical work. Conclusions: The research protocol involving mobile devices was feasible and acceptable to nurses. Nurses felt the research protocol, including the use of mobile devices, required minimal investment of time and effort. This suggests that their decision to participate in research involving mobile devices was based on their perception that the study protocol and the use of the device would not be demanding. Further work is needed to determine if studies involving more sophisticated and possibly more demanding technology would be equally feasible and acceptable to nurses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number163
JournalPilot and Feasibility Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 25 2018


  • Acceptability
  • Feasibility
  • Handoff
  • Mobile devices
  • Nursing
  • Recruitment
  • Research procedure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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