Publication details

Functions of mHealth applications : A user’s perspective



Year of publication 2019
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Health Informatics Journal
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Field Mass media, audiovision
Keywords apps; drive for thinness; eating behaviors; eHealth; excessive exercise; exercise; functions of apps; health; health application; mHealth; nutrition
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Description The usage of mobile health (mHealth) applications is rapidly increasing. This research has been aimed mostly at reviewing existing mHealth apps and their functionality. However, studies from users perspectives are rather scarce. This exploratory study addresses that gap and, using cross-sectional survey data, seeks to reveal the socio-demographic and individual characteristics of users who utilize specific functions of mHealth apps. The data were collected via an online survey through websites oriented toward eating habits, exercising, dieting, and weight loss (N = 2002). The analyses revealed demographic and individual differences in predicting usage of various functions of mHealth apps. The drive for thinness was associated with functions for weight monitoring and planning functions. The excessive exercise was associated with weight monitoring, socializing functions, and functions for planning and monitoring goals. These findings imply that mHealth apps should be individually tailored to incorporate components such as risk-specific warnings or the provision of information related to seeking professional help for at-risk audiences.
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