University of Twente Student Theses


The needs of college students in regard to stress management- an evaluation of the Kenkou Stress Guide App : a qualitative study

Koppik, K. (2020) The needs of college students in regard to stress management- an evaluation of the Kenkou Stress Guide App : a qualitative study.

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Abstract:As several studies have shown that students are struggling with an increased pressure to perform, financial insecurity, less time available for leisure and therefore often a drop in their academic performance. This leads to an increase in mental issues and unhealthy compulsory behaviour. Based on these results, it is advised to focus on easily accessible, preventive measures to educate students and help them on their way of self-improvement. Therefore, this qualitative study in two rounds was conducted to evaluate the stress management application Kenkou and redesign a prototype which is taking the needs of the student, regarding design and usability into account. A sample of 20 participants, collected by convenient sampling and via the SONA system, answered questions concerning their stress level, stress management, their experience with mhealth applications and their expectations with regard to these. Afterwards, they explored the Kenkou application for the first time, getting to know the app and took their first stress measurement. Based on their expectations and previous researched literature, a prototype was created which was focussing on the personalization of the application. This implies that the prototype was posing questions about what is causing stress for the user and how the person normally copes with it. In addition, the answers shall help to adapt the exercises in the application (e.g. a sporty user will receive more physical focussed exercises, a user seeks journaling in order to cope or manage will receive new input for this way), the exercises now show how long it will take to fulfil them and the user is able to indicate how many minutes per day he is willing to invest in the application. Lastly, the user is also able to change the sex of the voice within the application. In the second session, the participants have been asked questions concerning the frequency of the usage and the quality of the usage. Afterwards, they explored the paper-based prototype and gave an evaluation for the design and usability. The opportunity for personalization resulted in positive feedback, just small adjustment concerning the navigation should be improved further. The participants have been more likely to recommend the adapted prototype compared to the original app. The results show that general design and its usability are suited for a broad variety of users, and it is more important to offer an option to personalize the application as this makes the user felt heard and understood. Keeping the decreasing mental well-being of students in mind, mhealth applications should be pursued by universities.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general, 77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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