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Understanding and promoting effective engagement with digital behavior change interventions

Understanding and promoting effective engagement with digital behavior change interventions
Understanding and promoting effective engagement with digital behavior change interventions
This paper is one in a series developed through a process of expert consensus to provide an overview of questions of current importance in research into engagement with digital behavior change interventions, identifying guidance based on research to date and priority topics for future research. The first part of this paper critically reflects on current approaches to conceptualizing and measuring engagement. Next, issues relevant to promoting effective engagement are discussed, including how best to tailor to individual needs and combine digital and human support. A key conclusion with regard to conceptualizing engagement is that it is important to understand the relationship between engagement with the digital intervention and the desired behavior change. This paper argues that it may be more valuable to establish and promote ‘effective engagement’, rather than simply more engagement, with ‘effective engagement’ defined empirically as sufficient engagement with the intervention to achieve intended outcomes. Appraisal of the value and limitations of methods of assessing different aspects of engagement highlights the need to identify valid and efficient combinations of measures to develop and test multidimensional models of engagement. The final section of the paper reflects on how interventions can be designed to fit the user and their specific needs and context. Despite many unresolved questions posed by novel and rapidly changing technologies, there is widespread consensus that successful intervention design demands a user-centered and iterative approach to development, using mixed methods and in-depth qualitative research to progressively refine the intervention to meet user requirements.
0749-3797
833-842
Yardley, L.
64be42c4-511d-484d-abaa-f8813452a22e
Spring, B.J.
44f02f56-8d53-46c7-843c-c8884f5184db
Riper, H.
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Morrison, L.G.
920a4eda-0f9d-4bd9-842d-6873b1afafef
Crane, D.H.
64e4a343-7712-4a36-ada8-eb8a32757fbb
Curtis, K.
707f7da2-f7aa-4593-8082-b9bd399fe033
Merchant, G.C.
3c205e18-444a-467c-87b0-9364c8276ae6
Naughton, F.
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Blanford, A
411316d1-b8b4-4032-b41e-15b05404f4d9
Yardley, L.
64be42c4-511d-484d-abaa-f8813452a22e
Spring, B.J.
44f02f56-8d53-46c7-843c-c8884f5184db
Riper, H.
4185a76a-4057-4a03-94de-1da2f68e1b1b
Morrison, L.G.
920a4eda-0f9d-4bd9-842d-6873b1afafef
Crane, D.H.
64e4a343-7712-4a36-ada8-eb8a32757fbb
Curtis, K.
707f7da2-f7aa-4593-8082-b9bd399fe033
Merchant, G.C.
3c205e18-444a-467c-87b0-9364c8276ae6
Naughton, F.
0122ac6c-a42a-4d7e-aef7-36a640a622f7
Blanford, A
411316d1-b8b4-4032-b41e-15b05404f4d9

Yardley, L., Spring, B.J., Riper, H., Morrison, L.G., Crane, D.H., Curtis, K., Merchant, G.C., Naughton, F. and Blanford, A (2016) Understanding and promoting effective engagement with digital behavior change interventions. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 51 (5), 833-842. (doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2016.06.015).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This paper is one in a series developed through a process of expert consensus to provide an overview of questions of current importance in research into engagement with digital behavior change interventions, identifying guidance based on research to date and priority topics for future research. The first part of this paper critically reflects on current approaches to conceptualizing and measuring engagement. Next, issues relevant to promoting effective engagement are discussed, including how best to tailor to individual needs and combine digital and human support. A key conclusion with regard to conceptualizing engagement is that it is important to understand the relationship between engagement with the digital intervention and the desired behavior change. This paper argues that it may be more valuable to establish and promote ‘effective engagement’, rather than simply more engagement, with ‘effective engagement’ defined empirically as sufficient engagement with the intervention to achieve intended outcomes. Appraisal of the value and limitations of methods of assessing different aspects of engagement highlights the need to identify valid and efficient combinations of measures to develop and test multidimensional models of engagement. The final section of the paper reflects on how interventions can be designed to fit the user and their specific needs and context. Despite many unresolved questions posed by novel and rapidly changing technologies, there is widespread consensus that successful intervention design demands a user-centered and iterative approach to development, using mixed methods and in-depth qualitative research to progressively refine the intervention to meet user requirements.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 25 May 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 13 October 2016
Published date: November 2016

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 395445
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/395445
ISSN: 0749-3797
PURE UUID: 3d0f4a5d-3921-40c5-967a-f952c70b75dd
ORCID for L. Yardley: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3853-883X
ORCID for L.G. Morrison: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9961-551X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 31 May 2016 09:00
Last modified: 28 Apr 2022 04:41

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Contributors

Author: L. Yardley ORCID iD
Author: B.J. Spring
Author: H. Riper
Author: L.G. Morrison ORCID iD
Author: D.H. Crane
Author: K. Curtis
Author: G.C. Merchant
Author: F. Naughton
Author: A Blanford

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