HumanInsight User Perceptions of eHealth and mHealth Services Promoting Physical Activity and Healthy Diets: Systematic Review
JMIR Hum Factors. 2022 Jun 28;9(2):e34278. doi: 10.2196/34278.
BACKGROUND: Physical activity and a diet that follows general recommendations can help to prevent noncommunicable diseases. However, most adults do not meet current recommended guidelines, and support for behavior change needs to be strengthened. There is growing evidence that shows the benefits of eHealth and mobile health (mHealth) services in promoting healthy habits; however, their long-term effectiveness is uncertain because of nonadherence.
OBJECTIVE: We aimed to explore users' perceptions of acceptability, engagement, and usability of eHealth and mHealth services that promote physical activity, healthy diets, or both in the primary or secondary prevention of noncommunicable diseases.
METHODS: We conducted a systematic review with a narrative synthesis. We performed the literature search in PubMed, PsycINFO, and CINAHL electronic databases in February 2021 and July 2021. The search was limited to papers published in English between 2016 and 2021. Papers on qualitative and mixed method studies that encompassed eHealth and mHealth services for adults with a focus on physical activity, healthy diet, or both in the primary or secondary prevention of noncommunicable diseases were included. Three authors screened the studies independently, and 2 of the authors separately performed thematic analysis of qualitative data.
RESULTS: With an initial finding of 6308 articles and the removal of 427 duplicates, 23 articles were deemed eligible for inclusion in the review. Based on users' preferences, an overarching theme-eHealth and mHealth services provide value but need to be tailored to individual needs-and 5 subthemes-interactive and integrated; varying and multifunctional; easy, pedagogic, and attractive; individualized and customizable; and reliable-emerged.
CONCLUSIONS: New evidence on the optimization of digital services that promote physical activity and healthy diets has been synthesized. The findings represent users' perceptions of acceptability, engagement, and usability of eHealth and mHealth services and show that services should be personalized, dynamic, easily manageable, and reliable. These findings can help improve adherence to digital health-promoting services.
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