Measurements of engagement in mobile behavioural interventions?

TitleMeasurements of engagement in mobile behavioural interventions?
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsWeston, A., L. Morrison, L. Yardley, M. Van Kleek, and M. Weal
Conference NameDigital Health 2015
Date PublishedMay

Mobile digital behaviour changes interventions (mDBCIs) are becoming increasingly useful and necessary within healthcare and wellbeing. Health interventions need to close the gap between intention to behave and the behaviour itself. If apps fail to engage users, the behavioural intervention material is never seen. This paper investigates the measurements of engagement using a health based quiz app. Quiz questions were created using the NHS website and fell into the following six categories: ?healthy eating?, ?losing weight?, ?sleep?, ?fitness?, ?food? and ?smoking?. Gamification features such as count down timers were used to encourage user participation. Notifications, with individual goals, were sent out to nudge the users to play the quiz. Engagement was measured in two ways. Firstly, a count of completed quiz questions to illustrate app engagement. Secondly, a participants learning was evaluated using a learning curve. This measured whether a participant understood and retained the health facts, illustrated by an improvement in their answers over time. A comparison between two participants using the first measurement (count of completed quiz questions) would have shown an identical rate of engagement, both answering 44 questions. However, the second measure (engagement with app content) showed a different rate of engagement. One participant improved producing the expected learning curve whilst the other consistently answered questions wrong, showing a lack of engagement with the intervention material. {\ensuremath{<}}br/{\ensuremath{>}}Participants were allowed to select their preferred category of question and in this case chose different areas. This was to encourage them to choose topics of interest to further improve their commitment to the study and provide a more personal experience. Future research would include more participants within each question category for further analysis and direct comparison. However, this research illustrates that these two types of engagement, app and intervention material, separately paint different pictures. To improve the design and effectiveness of mDBCIs engagement analysis, studies need to utilise more than one method of measurement

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