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Understanding engagement with eHealth-apps : a qualitative interview study

Eckhardt, Tizian (2019) Understanding engagement with eHealth-apps : a qualitative interview study.

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Abstract:Background: Ehealth-applications for smartphones or tablets or so called “Digital Behaviour Change Interventions” (DBCIs) promote a healthy lifestyle and support their users to change their behaviour in a healthy way. To be the most effective, the users have to be engaged with the app. However, engagement is, up until this point, not clearly defined and different studies find different factors that might promote engagement. The aim of the current study is to find out what engagement with health-related apps means to people, and which factors influence engagement. Methods : To answer these questions five semi-structured interviews on the topic of engagement were conducted. The first inclusion criteria for participation was to use an eHealth-app, and the second inclusion criteria was that the interviewees felt engaged with the app. Engagement was explained to them as finding the app important. Furthermore, the participants were asked for the usage behaviour and therefore their adherence with the eHealth-app. After conducting and recording the interviews, the interviews were analysed with the help of the created code schemes. With the code schemes it was tried to define engagement and to find some engaging functions according to the answers of the participants in the current study. Results: The current study found that the feeling of engagement differs between different users. According to the participants, self-monitoring, tailoring and an easy handling of the app positively influence adherence and therefore engagement the most.Discussion:The findings of the current study were mostly in line with findings of previous research. Further research might possibly aim at finding a definition of engagement that takes care of the individual character of engagement, and also at finding out which factors are more important to which user group. For example, if elderly people have other needs in apps than younger people.Conclusion: The current study revealed that defining engagement is not that easy because of the different views and the belonging foci on it. The results show also that different users have different needs and therefore it is not possible to name universal factors that guarantee an increase in engagement.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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