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Development of web-based qualitative and quantitative data collection systems: Study on daily symptoms and coping strategies among Japanese rheumatoid arthritis patients


Hatsumi Kanzaki, Division of Nursing, Osaka University, 1–7 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565–0871, Japan. Email:


Abstract With the sharp rise in Internet access in recent years, the Internet is increasingly being used for research. We have developed two new systems using the Internet for both quantitative and qualitative data collection. One is a dynamic system for creating questionnaires and collecting responses and the other is an individual patient support follow-up system. These systems do not depend on the capacity of computers or servers and enable researchers to interact with participants privately and asynchronously. We have used these systems to collect data on daily symptoms and journal entries from 12 community-dwelling women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) for a minimum of 1 month. The mean number of data submissions per month was 14.2 ± 7.8, with the majority recording entries every day, and some submitting several times a day. The combination of two types of data elucidated the changes in coping and coping strategies in conjunction with changes in symptoms, even in a single day, and the coexistence of positive and negative coping. Research participants benefited from web-based symptom management and counseling resulting from 1 month of frequent interactions with the researcher. The use of the Internet for nursing research and interventions thus seems to show promising results.

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