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A Persuasive and Social mHealth Application for Physical Activity: A Usability and Feasibility Study.

Al Ayubi SU, Parmanto B, Branch R, Ding D - JMIR Mhealth Uhealth (2014)

Bottom Line: There were seven fundamental characteristics of physical activity monitoring and promotion that were identified, which were then used as a foundation to develop the application.Based on the fundamental characteristics, the application was successfully developed.The usability results suggest that the system is usable and user satisfaction was high.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Health and Rehabilitation Informatics Laboratory, Department of Health Information Management, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, United States.

ABSTRACT

Background: Advances in smartphones and the wide usage of social networking systems offer opportunities for the development of innovative interventions to promote physical activity. To that end, we developed a persuasive and social mHealth application designed to monitor and motivate users to walk more every day.

Objective: The objectives of this project were to conduct a focused review on the fundamental characteristics of mHealth for physical activity promotion, to develop an mHealth application that meets such characteristics, and to conduct a feasibility study to deploy the application in everyday life.

Methods: This project started as an analytical study to review the fundamental characteristics of the technologies used in physical activity monitoring and promotion. Then, it was followed by a technical development of the application. Next, a 4 week deployment was conducted where participants used the application as part of their daily life. A think-aloud method and in-depth semistructured interviews were conducted following the deployment. A qualitative description method was used to thematically analyze the interviews. Feasibility measures included, adherence to the program, user-system interactions, motivation to use, and experience with physical activity and online social interactions.

Results: There were seven fundamental characteristics of physical activity monitoring and promotion that were identified, which were then used as a foundation to develop the application. There were fourteen participants that enrolled in the application evaluation. The age range was from 24 to 45; body mass index ranged from 18.5 to 42.98, with 4 of the subjects falling into the category "obese". Half of them were experienced with smartphones, and all were familiar with a social network system. There were thirteen participants that completed the study; one was excluded. Overall, participants gave high scores to almost all of the usability factors examined, with averages of 4.52 out of a 5.00 maximum. Over 29 days, participants used the application for a total of 119,380 minutes (average=7.57 hours/day/participant; SD 1.56).

Conclusions: Based on the fundamental characteristics, the application was successfully developed. The usability results suggest that the system is usable and user satisfaction was high. Deploying the application was shown to be feasible for the promotion of daily physical activity.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

PersonA Characteristics Model.
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Related In: Results  -  Collection

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figure2: PersonA Characteristics Model.

Mentions: As a result from the analytical study described above, we identified seven technical characteristics that a PA monitoring and promotion system must have to comply with the established health behavior change theories and strategies, as well as to be able to deliver effective and innovative interventions (Figure 2 shows these characteristics).


A Persuasive and Social mHealth Application for Physical Activity: A Usability and Feasibility Study.

Al Ayubi SU, Parmanto B, Branch R, Ding D - JMIR Mhealth Uhealth (2014)

PersonA Characteristics Model.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4114463&req=5

figure2: PersonA Characteristics Model.
Mentions: As a result from the analytical study described above, we identified seven technical characteristics that a PA monitoring and promotion system must have to comply with the established health behavior change theories and strategies, as well as to be able to deliver effective and innovative interventions (Figure 2 shows these characteristics).

Bottom Line: There were seven fundamental characteristics of physical activity monitoring and promotion that were identified, which were then used as a foundation to develop the application.Based on the fundamental characteristics, the application was successfully developed.The usability results suggest that the system is usable and user satisfaction was high.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Health and Rehabilitation Informatics Laboratory, Department of Health Information Management, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, United States.

ABSTRACT

Background: Advances in smartphones and the wide usage of social networking systems offer opportunities for the development of innovative interventions to promote physical activity. To that end, we developed a persuasive and social mHealth application designed to monitor and motivate users to walk more every day.

Objective: The objectives of this project were to conduct a focused review on the fundamental characteristics of mHealth for physical activity promotion, to develop an mHealth application that meets such characteristics, and to conduct a feasibility study to deploy the application in everyday life.

Methods: This project started as an analytical study to review the fundamental characteristics of the technologies used in physical activity monitoring and promotion. Then, it was followed by a technical development of the application. Next, a 4 week deployment was conducted where participants used the application as part of their daily life. A think-aloud method and in-depth semistructured interviews were conducted following the deployment. A qualitative description method was used to thematically analyze the interviews. Feasibility measures included, adherence to the program, user-system interactions, motivation to use, and experience with physical activity and online social interactions.

Results: There were seven fundamental characteristics of physical activity monitoring and promotion that were identified, which were then used as a foundation to develop the application. There were fourteen participants that enrolled in the application evaluation. The age range was from 24 to 45; body mass index ranged from 18.5 to 42.98, with 4 of the subjects falling into the category "obese". Half of them were experienced with smartphones, and all were familiar with a social network system. There were thirteen participants that completed the study; one was excluded. Overall, participants gave high scores to almost all of the usability factors examined, with averages of 4.52 out of a 5.00 maximum. Over 29 days, participants used the application for a total of 119,380 minutes (average=7.57 hours/day/participant; SD 1.56).

Conclusions: Based on the fundamental characteristics, the application was successfully developed. The usability results suggest that the system is usable and user satisfaction was high. Deploying the application was shown to be feasible for the promotion of daily physical activity.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus