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Who are mobile app users from healthy lifestyle websites? Analysis of patterns of app use and user characteristics

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ELAVSKY Steriani ŠMAHEL David MACHÁČKOVÁ Hana

Druh Článek v odborném periodiku
Časopis / Zdroj Translational Behavioral Medicine
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Fakulta informatiky Fakulta sociálních studií Rektorát Středoevropský technologický institut

Citace
Doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13142-017-0525-x
Obor Psychologie
Klíčová slova Mobile app users; Smartphones; Healthy lifestyle websites; Individual differences
Popis The use of online communities and websites for health information has proliferated along with the use of mobile apps for managing health behaviors such as diet and exercise. The scarce evidence available to date suggests that users of these websites and apps differ in significant ways from non-users but most data come from US- and UK-based populations. In this study, we recruited users of nutrition, weight management, and fitness-oriented websites in the Czech Republic to better understand who uses mobile apps and who does not, including user sociodemographic and psychological profiles. Respondents aged 13–39 provided information on app use through an online survey (n = 669; M age = 24.06, SD = 5.23; 84% female). Among users interested in health topics, respondents using apps for managing nutrition, weight, and fitness (n = 403, 60%) were more often female, reported more frequent smartphone use, and more expert phone skills. In logistic regression models, controlling for sociodemographics, web, and phone activity, mHealth app use was predicted by levels of excessive exercise (OR 1.346, 95% CI 1.061–1.707). Among app users, we found differences in types of apps used by gender, age, and weight status. Controlling for sociodemographics and web and phone use, drive for thinness predicted the frequency of use of apps for healthy eating, keeping a diet, and losing weight, whereas excessive exercise predicted the use of apps for keeping a diet, losing weight, and managing sport/exercise. Sensation seeking was negatively associated with the frequency of use of apps for maintaining weight. These data unveil the user characteristics of mHealth app users from nutrition, weight management, and fitness websites, helping inform subsequent design of mHealth apps and mobile intervention strategies.
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