Academic research with a modern twist

“Upinion was the perfect tool to reach our busy target group. Real-time responses enhanced our study and also helped us pivot our approach quickly.”

– Anna van’t Veer, Researcher, Leiden University

Challenge

  • Explore underlying mechanisms in the transition into fatherhood
  • Consistently gather contextual and reliable insights from participating fathers throughout the study in a timely manner
  • Provide a flexible and convenient way for fathers to participate in the study, given their busy schedules

Founded in 1575, Leiden University is the oldest university in the Netherlands. Their Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences is an international centre for research and teaching. Having a strong societal impact is what guides the Faculty’s work. In 2016 they set out on a study that focuses on the evolutionary, biological (hormonal) and neural correlates of fatherhood and the changes men go through during the transition into fatherhood, in collaboration with the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. 

Academic researchers often use questionnaires as a part of their procedures. However with a diary study in the modern age, they needed a flexible and convenient solution that allowed them to engage with participating subjects (fathers) over a long period of time. Something that would allow them to actively check in with fathers, and help them gather data to make their study more robust.

Solution

  • Questions were pre-scheduled and deployed according to research requirements using advanced features
  • Fathers were notified on their phones if they had new questions or tasks to be fulfilled
  • Mobile app which travelled with fathers as they went throughout the day, from home to work to wherever they were

Busy fathers on-the-go were equipped with Upinion on their phones during the course of the study. Multiple times a week, during randomised times during the day, the fathers were asked various questions related to their mental and physical states, and they were reminded to carry out specific tasks like collect some saliva for hormone measurements. Advanced features, such as scheduler, enabled researchers to organise the study, pre-schedule questions, and reach out to participating fathers easily. Fathers would receive push notifications on their phone to answer questions and perform their tasks. Questions expired after a certain period of time and could no longer be answered. Participation in the study was integrated within their everyday world, on their phones where they were communicating with others and doing other things. This flexibility and ease of participation encouraged engagement.

Results

  • Track responses from fathers who fulfil their weekly questions and tasks
  • Real-time contextual data gathered has helped researchers pivot the study as it develops into 2018

The study started in 2016 and continues into 2018. So far researchers have experienced varied response rates with the participating fathers, but have gathered more contextual data, and pivot the study according to new developments. Real-time results coupled with traditional questionnaire data have given researchers a holistic view of the topic at hand.

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