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Behavior change techniques in apps for medication adherence: A Content Analysis

Behavior change techniques in apps for medication adherence: A Content Analysis
Behavior change techniques in apps for medication adherence: A Content Analysis

INTRODUCTION: There are a vast number of smartphone applications (apps) aimed at promoting medication adherence on the market; however, the theory and evidence base in terms of applying established health behavior change techniques underpinning these apps remains unclear. This study aimed to code these apps using the Behavior Change Technique Taxonomy (v1) for the presence or absence of established behavior change techniques.

METHODS: The sample of apps was identified through systematic searches in both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store in February 2015. All apps that fell into the search categories were downloaded for analysis. The downloaded apps were screened with exclusion criteria, and suitable apps were reviewed and coded for behavior change techniques in March 2015. Two researchers performed coding independently.

RESULTS: In total, 166 medication adherence apps were identified and coded. The number of behavior change techniques contained in an app ranged from zero to seven (mean=2.77). A total of 12 of a possible 96 behavior change techniques were found to be present across apps. The most commonly included behavior change techniques were "action planning" and "prompt/cues," which were included in 96% of apps, followed by "self-monitoring" (37%) and "feedback on behavior" (36%).

CONCLUSIONS: The current extent to which established behavior change techniques are used in medication adherence apps is limited. The development of medication adherence apps may not have benefited from advances in the theory and practice of health behavior change.

Cell Phones, Health Behavior, Health Promotion, Humans, Medication Adherence, Mobile Applications, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
0749-3797
e143-e146
Morrissey, Eimear C
871d96b3-ef97-42db-afa5-8f0841dedf31
Corbett, Teresa K
bce81837-17ae-46c3-a6b1-43a7e1f07f9c
Walsh, Jane C
1a670745-ae16-41df-809e-4c6e2f91e37e
Molloy, Gerard J
34f2a6af-0538-49f1-9c14-7f3a8c424be3
Morrissey, Eimear C
871d96b3-ef97-42db-afa5-8f0841dedf31
Corbett, Teresa K
bce81837-17ae-46c3-a6b1-43a7e1f07f9c
Walsh, Jane C
1a670745-ae16-41df-809e-4c6e2f91e37e
Molloy, Gerard J
34f2a6af-0538-49f1-9c14-7f3a8c424be3

Morrissey, Eimear C, Corbett, Teresa K, Walsh, Jane C and Molloy, Gerard J (2016) Behavior change techniques in apps for medication adherence: A Content Analysis. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 50 (5), e143-e146. (doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2015.09.034).

Record type: Article

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: There are a vast number of smartphone applications (apps) aimed at promoting medication adherence on the market; however, the theory and evidence base in terms of applying established health behavior change techniques underpinning these apps remains unclear. This study aimed to code these apps using the Behavior Change Technique Taxonomy (v1) for the presence or absence of established behavior change techniques.

METHODS: The sample of apps was identified through systematic searches in both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store in February 2015. All apps that fell into the search categories were downloaded for analysis. The downloaded apps were screened with exclusion criteria, and suitable apps were reviewed and coded for behavior change techniques in March 2015. Two researchers performed coding independently.

RESULTS: In total, 166 medication adherence apps were identified and coded. The number of behavior change techniques contained in an app ranged from zero to seven (mean=2.77). A total of 12 of a possible 96 behavior change techniques were found to be present across apps. The most commonly included behavior change techniques were "action planning" and "prompt/cues," which were included in 96% of apps, followed by "self-monitoring" (37%) and "feedback on behavior" (36%).

CONCLUSIONS: The current extent to which established behavior change techniques are used in medication adherence apps is limited. The development of medication adherence apps may not have benefited from advances in the theory and practice of health behavior change.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 17 November 2015
Published date: May 2016
Additional Information: Copyright © 2016 American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Cell Phones, Health Behavior, Health Promotion, Humans, Medication Adherence, Mobile Applications, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 414112
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/414112
ISSN: 0749-3797
PURE UUID: c1ad0768-f538-4e2a-b70a-c0b65c7af170
ORCID for Teresa K Corbett: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5620-5377

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 14 Sep 2017 16:31
Last modified: 15 Aug 2019 00:31

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Contributors

Author: Eimear C Morrissey
Author: Jane C Walsh
Author: Gerard J Molloy

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