Users’ thoughts and opinions about a self-regulation-based eHealth intervention targeting physical activity and the intake of fruit and vegetables: A qualitative study

Louise Poppe, Celien Van Der Mispel, Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij, Maïté Verloigne, Samyah Shadid, Geert Crombez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: EHealth interventions are effective in changing health behaviours, such as increasing physical activity and altering dietary habits, but suffer from high attrition rates. In order to create interventions that are adapted to end-users, in-depth investigations about their opinions and preferences are required. As opinions and preferences may vary for different target groups, we explored these in two groups: the general population and a clinical sample. 

Methods: Twenty adults from the general population (mean age = 42.65, 11 women) and twenty adults with type 2 diabetes (mean age = 64.30, 12 women) performed ‘MyPlan 1.0’, which is a self-regulation-based eHealth intervention designed to increase physical activity and the intake of fruit and vegetables in the general population. The opinions and preferences of end-users were explored using a think aloud procedure and a questionnaire. During a home visit, participants were invited to think aloud while performing ‘MyPlan 1.0’. The thoughts were transcribed verbatim and inductive thematic analysis was applied. 

Results: Both groups had similar opinions regarding health behaviours and ‘MyPlan 1.0’. Participants generally liked the website, but often experienced it as time-consuming. Furthermore, they regularly mentioned that a mobile application would be useful to remind them about their goals on a daily basis. Finally, users’ ideas about how to pursue health behaviours often hindered them to correctly use the website. 

Conclusions: Although originally created for the general population, ‘MyPlan 1.0’ can also be used in adults with type 2 diabetes. Nevertheless, more adaptations are needed to make the eHealth intervention more convenient and less time-consuming. Furthermore, users’ ideas regarding a healthy lifestyle should be taken into account when designing online interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0190020
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume12
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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