ERIC Number: EJ1133519
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Apr
Abstractor: As Provided
What Makes a Mobile App Successful in Supporting Health Behaviour Change?
Fitzgerald, Martin; McClelland, Tracy
Health Education Journal, v76 n3 p373-381 Apr 2017
Introduction: Health promotion apps designed to support and reinforce health behaviours or to reduce risk behaviours are the most commonly downloaded apps. Such technologies have the potential to reach and deliver health care to new populations. But the extent to which they are successful in enabling the adoption of new and desired behaviours can vary. Some apps are more effective than others, some are free to download while others require a nominal or substantial charge. Cost alone is not indicative of quality or effectiveness. This is important because the use of health apps by the public will likely increase, as is the expectation that health care professionals understand this technology and its heuristic role in personalised health. Practitioners therefore need to be better informed regarding what makes a health app appealing to service users and successful as an intervention to facilitate behaviour change. Objective: This paper describes and discusses how the structure and content of health care apps can facilitate or inhibit behavioural change. The aim is to support practitioners in the screening and identification of suitable apps for clinical use. Method: Theory and literature review. Conclusion: App content that involved clinician input at the design stage and included internal drivers such as motivation, self-efficacy and illness understanding and external drivers such as illness information, social networking and user compatibility tend to do better in facilitating behaviour change than those that do not. Of these factors, motivation is considered to be the most important.
Descriptors: Computer Oriented Programs, Health Promotion, Health Behavior, Behavior Change, Literature Reviews, Motivation, Self Efficacy, Diseases, Health Education, Social Networks, Information Dissemination, Users (Information), Use Studies, Adoption (Ideas), Privacy, Information Security, Educational Benefits, Instructional Design, Usability
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
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