Understanding the uptake of, and the engagement with, health and wellbeing smartphone apps.

Szinay, Dorottya (2021) Understanding the uptake of, and the engagement with, health and wellbeing smartphone apps. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Health and wellbeing smartphone apps are promising tools in behaviour change, however, the uptake with these is low and the engagement with them is suboptimal.

The research objectives were to 1) better understand factors influencing the uptake of and the engagement with health and wellbeing apps, 2) explore the factors influencing how and why individuals choose health and wellbeing apps online, including curated health app portals, and 3) investigate the attributes of smoking cessation apps that are likely to affect their uptake.

Three integrated research studies using qualitative and quantitative methods were conducted. Firstly, a systematic literature review was undertaken to investigate factors influencing the uptake of, and engagement with, health and wellbeing apps. Secondly, a think-aloud and interview study was undertaken to gain a deeper understanding of previously identified factors from the systematic review and to explore participants’views on curated health app portals. The final study involved the development and delivery of a discrete choice experiment to elicit smokers’ preferences for the uptake of a hypothetical smoking cessation smartphone app.

The systematic review identified twenty-six factors that influence the uptake and engagement with health and wellbeing apps, with one of the most important factors being health practitioner support. The qualitative study found that social influences and the perceived utility of an app may be core factors influencing their uptake. Engagement appeared to be influenced by the need for apps to contain clear user guidance, create low cognitive demands and support self-monitoring, have tailored technology, include peer and professional support, and goal setting features with action planning. Findings from the discrete choice experiment suggest that uptake of a smoking cessation app is most likely if the app has a high star rating, followed by if it is developed by a trusted organisation, the image of the app includes screenshots of how the app appears, and if the app is low cost.

Easy to use health and wellbeing apps which convey their social approval and practical benefits of use have the greatest potential to be adopted.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2022 14:20
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2022 14:20
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/84224


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