Design and implementation of the Competency Assessment Tool (CAT): user experience usability study

Inform Health Soc Care. 2020 Jan;45(1):57-76. doi: 10.1080/17538157.2018.1550414. Epub 2018 Dec 13.


The decision on patients' competency to manage their affairs and take care of themselves requires a rigorous evaluation process and consistency among practice settings. Research indicates there is a lack of resources to guide healthcare and social service professionals in the interprofessional decision-making process that such an evaluation requires. A web-based tool, the Competency Assessment Tool (CAT), was designed to assist professionals in that process. The authors conducted a usability study with a beta version of the CAT. The objectives of this study were to: (1) explore what is needed to support its use in community-based and specialized settings; and (2) identify barriers to and facilitators of implementation. A major concern was the perceived onerous nature of the tool. Participants indicated a need for different versions of the tool, depending on the complexity of the evaluation. They want to be directed to areas in the tool based on their field of expertise and want adjustments to functionalities related to collaborative work. This study highlights the importance of the awareness of User Experience (UX) considerations at the outset of the design process, to limit the impact of required modifications and facilitate implementation in the workplace.

Keywords: CAT; Competency assessment; usability study; user experience; web-based tool.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Clinical Decision Rules*
  • Decision Making
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Personnel / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Mental Competency*
  • Middle Aged
  • Quebec