From the article: Research through Design projects in the health domain often involve collaborations of design and healthcare researchers. All partners have their own ideas and expectations with regard to what they consider valid ways to support their work. The evidence-based approach that dominates healthcare research differs from the ways that are common in design research, in which more iterative approaches are applied with focus on developing solutions to fit to the users and their context.
The question that we address is twofold: a) How do differences in grounding approaches manifest themselves in projects where design and healthcare researchers collaborate? And b) How do project teams deal with these differences?
We analyzed the grounding practices within ten Dutch research projects that address the development of e-health applications to support people as they grow older. All projects are collaborations of design and healthcare researchers and practice partners. We applied a multiple case study research approach in two series of interviews, with a cross-case interpretation after the first series of interviews to direct the second series. Differences in grounding approaches in the projects manifest themselves on four themes, each representing a spectrum: time, structure, control and position. These differences provided challenges, but were also used to strengthen the project.