PhD Candidate, University of Ontario Institute of Technology
Implementing motivational affordances through gamification technologies for older adults PA
The aim is to use persuasive strategies to influence older adults to be more active, be motivated to participate in physical activity on a regular basis
Abstract: Although web-based interventions for promoting health and health-related behavior can be effective, poor adherence is a common issue that needs to be addressed. Technology as a means to communicate the content in web-based interventions has been neglected in research. Indeed, technology is often seen as a black-box, a mere tool that has no effect or value and serves only as a vehicle to deliver intervention content. In this paper we examine technology from a holistic perspective. We see it as a vital and inseparable aspect of web-based interventions to help explain and understand adherence.This study aims to review the literature on web-based health interventions to investigate whether intervention characteristics and persuasive design affect adherence to a web-based intervention.We conducted a systematic review of studies into web-based health interventions. Per intervention, intervention characteristics, persuasive technology elements and adherence were coded. We performed a multiple regression analysis to investigate whether these variables could predict adherence.We included 101 articles on 83 interventions. The typical web-based intervention is meant to be used once a week, is modular in set-up, is updated once a week, lasts for 10 weeks, includes interaction with the system and a counselor and peers on the web, includes some persuasive technology elements, and about 50% of the participants adhere to the intervention. Regarding persuasive technology, we see that primary task support elements are most commonly employed (mean 2.9 out of a possible 7.0). Dialogue support and social support are less commonly employed (mean 1.5 and 1.2 out of a possible 7.0, respectively). When comparing the interventions of the different health care areas, we find significant differences in intended usage (p=.004), setup (p<.001), updates (p<.001), frequency of interaction with a counselor (p<.001), the system (p=.003) and peers (p=.017), duration (F=6.068, p=.004), adherence (F=4.833, p=.010) and the number of primary task support elements (F=5.631, p=.005). Our final regression model explained 55% of the variance in adherence. In this model, a RCT study as opposed to an observational study, increased interaction with a counselor, more frequent intended usage, more frequent updates and more extensive employment of dialogue support significantly predicted better adherence.Using intervention characteristics and persuasive technology elements, a substantial amount of variance in adherence can be explained. Although there are differences between health care areas on intervention characteristics, health care area per se does not predict adherence. Rather, the differences in technology and interaction predict adherence. The results of this study can be used to make an informed decision about how to design a web-based intervention to which patients are more likely to adhere.
Pub.: 16 Nov '12, Pinned: 19 Aug '17
Abstract: Research has shown that web-based interventions concerning mental health can be effective, although there is a broad range in effect sizes. Why some interventions are more effective than others is not clear. Persuasive technology is one of the aspects which has a positive influence on changing attitude and/or behavior, and can contribute to better outcomes. According to the Persuasive Systems Design Model there are various principles that can be deployed. It is unknown whether the number and combinations of principles used in a web-based intervention affect the effectiveness. Another issue in web-based interventions is adherence. Little is known about the relationship of adherence on the effectiveness of web-based interventions.This study examines whether there is a relationship between the number and combinations of persuasive technology principles used in web-based interventions and the effectiveness. Also the influence of adherence on effectiveness of web-based interventions is investigated.This study elaborates on the systematic review by  and therefore the articles were derived from that study. Only web-based interventions were included that were intended to be used on more than one occasion and studies were excluded when no information on adherence was provided. 48 interventions targeted at mental health were selected for the current study. A within-group (WG) and between-group (BG) meta-analysis were performed and subsequently subgroup analyses regarding the relationship between the number and combinations of persuasive technology principles and effectiveness. The influence of adherence on the effectiveness was examined through a meta-regression analysis.For the WG meta-analysis 40 treatment groups were included. The BG meta-analysis included 19 studies. The mean pooled effect size in the WG meta-analysis was large and significant (Hedges' g=0.94), while for the BG meta-analysis this was moderate to large and significant (Hedges' g=0.78) in favor of the web-based interventions. With regard to the number of persuasive technology principles, the differences between the effect sizes in the subgroups were significant in the WG subgroup analyses for the total number of principles and for the number of principles in the three categories Primary Task Support, Dialogue Support, and Social Support. In the BG subgroup analyses only the difference in Primary Task Support was significant. An increase in the total number of principles and Dialogue Support principles yielded larger effect sizes in the WG subgroup analysis, indicating that more principles lead to better outcomes. The number of principles in the Primary Task Support (WG and BG) and Social Support (WG) did not show an upward trend but had varying effect sizes. We identified a number of combinations of principles that were more effective, but only in the WG analyses. The association between adherence and effectiveness was not significant.There is a relationship between the number of persuasive technology principles and the effectiveness of web-based interventions concerning mental health, however this does not always mean that implementing more principles leads to better outcomes. Regarding the combinations of principles, specific principles seemed to work well together (e.g. tunneling and tailoring; reminders and similarity; social learning and comparison), but adding another principle can diminish the effectiveness (e.g. tunneling, tailoring and reduction). In this study, an increase in adherence was not associated with larger effect sizes. The findings of this study can help developers to decide which persuasive principles to include to make web-based interventions more persuasive.
Pub.: 28 Apr '16, Pinned: 19 Aug '17
Abstract: People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (PwCOPD) often experience breathlessness and fatigue, making physical activity challenging. Although many persuasive technologies (such as mobile phone apps) have been designed to support physical activity among members of the general population, current technologies aimed at PwCOPD are underdeveloped and only use a limited range of persuasive technology design principles.The aim of this study was to explore how acceptable different persuasive technology design principles were considered to be in supporting and encouraging physical activity among PwCOPD.Three prototypes for mobile apps using different persuasive technology design principles as defined by the persuasive systems design (PSD) model-namely, dialogue support, primary task support, and social support-were developed. Opinions of these prototypes were explored through 28 interviews with PwCOPD, carers, and the health care professionals (HCPs) involved in their care and questionnaires completed by 87 PwCOPD. Participants also ranked how likely individual techniques (eg, competition) would be to convince them to use a technology designed to support physical activity. Data were analyzed using framework analysis, Friedman tests, and Wilcoxon signed rank tests and a convergent mixed methods design was used to integrate findings.The prototypes for mobile apps were received positively by participants. The prototype that used a dialogue support approach was identified as the most likely to be used or recommended by those interviewed, and was perceived as more persuasive than both of the other prototypes (Z=-3.06, P=.002; Z=-5.50, P<.001) by those who completed the questionnaire. PwCOPD identified dialogue support and primary task support techniques as more likely to convince them to use a technology than social support techniques (Z=-5.00, P<.001; Z=-4.92, P<.001, respectively). Opinions of social support techniques such as competition and collaboration were divided.Dialogue support and primary task support approaches are considered to be both acceptable and likely to be persuasive by PwCOPD, carers, and HCPs. In the future, these approaches should be considered when designing apps to encourage physical activity by PwCOPD.
Pub.: 22 Apr '17, Pinned: 19 Aug '17