Converging on bladder health through design thinking: From an ecology of influence to a focused set of research questions

Academic Article


  • Lower urinary tract symptoms affect a substantial number of women in the United States (U.S.) and globally. In 2015, the Prevention of Lower Urinary tract Symptoms in women (PLUS) Research Consortium was funded to establish the scientific basis for prevention efforts by (1) understanding healthy bladder function and (2) identifying risk and protective factors for bladder health in women across the lifecourse. This transdisciplinary consortium generated a list of over 600 candidate risk and protective factors for bladder health in women and girls and refined and prioritized these into 29 focused research questions to inform a national longitudinal observational study in the U.S. This paper describes that process using design thinking, a human-centered set of principles and strategies by which innovations are developed, as a framework. Design thinking is an iterative process consisting of five stages: Empathizing with end-users of innovations, Defining core principles girding the work, Ideation of all possible solutions, and rapid-cycle Prototyping and Testing of solutions. Lessons learned are offered to inform future prevention science research endeavors that might benefit from such an approach.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Lewis JB; Brady SS; Sutcliffe S; Smith AL; Mueller ER; Rudser K; Markland AD; Stapleton A; Gahagan S; Cunningham SD
  • Start Page

  • 1
  • End Page

  • 17
  • Volume

  • 17
  • Issue

  • 12