Broad social psychology question. Looking for feedback/research to help me validate a product we have created.

Thank you for the reply. This definitely has a little to do with my question, but I think I may not have posed it well enough.

The device we have created is used as a method to provide a real-time, non-verbal, tactile feedback system between a patient and a practitioner. Mainly to be used in the massage/physical therapy and dentistry industry. A patient held hardware controller will allow them to choose between parameters of +3, +2, +1, unity, -1, -2, -3 that will be sent to a practitioner worn tactile alerting device. At any point during the rendered session, a patient can ask for a request by moving the button between the parameters to signal more/less pressure during a massage therapy visit, alert a dentist of varying levels of pain or to request any other predetermined adjustments like location or suction/rinse/pause service etc..

The entire goal is to increase Patient Comfort through non-verbal cues, allowing the patient to be in control of their comfort. So my question is reposed with this new information. As a massage therapist myself, I find that patients do not always share all of the data that would make them have a better experience. Sort of the Thumper Syndrome "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." The problem is that as a practitioner, if they would be open and communicate their needs fully, I would benefit more from their brutal honesty that I would them just not returning as a patient. Especially for patients recovering from surgery/car crash/rehab injury who's pain thresholds and tissue health vary day to day. I saw a study that 85% of people surveyed, when asked why they "fired" their massage therapist, it was due to too much/too rough pressure, or too light/not enough pressure. Why wouldn't people just explain that in the moment? Would they be more forthright with their requests if it was easier and more passive to do so?

I think that the deindividuation process may come into play, as there is a PASSIVE, yet direct, non-confrontational method of portraying the information that they may feel "safe" to hide behind the controller unit. With a conceptual prototype I was able to have some proof of concept. I did 3 sessions without any patient knowledge of the device existing, and went out of my way to ask for any and all cues to make them more comfortable, or pressure requests during the service. I got about 2 or 3 verbal cues. The next 3 or 4 massage sessions were with the device and I was getting between 10 and 20 pressure adjustment requests, even if they were extremely slight.

I hope this is not confusing, but can you see where I am coming from?

I truly appreciate your time and feedback!

/r/AcademicPsychology Thread