• 21Jul

    Young people’s views on e-messaging to support behaviour change

    The Journal for Medical Internet Research (JMIR) have published a study on youth perceptions of and preferences for receiving personalized feedback to motivate behaviour change.

    Electronic health screening tools for primary care present an opportunity to go beyond data collection to provide education and feedback to adolescents in order to motivate behaviour change. However, there is limited research to guide feedback message development.

    The aim of this study was to explore youth perceptions of and preferences for receiving personalized feedback for multiple health risk behaviours and reinforcement for health promoting behaviours from an electronic health screening tool for primary care settings, using qualitative methodology.

    In total, 31 adolescents aged 13-18 years completed the screening tool, received the electronic feedback, and subsequently participated in individual, semi-structured, qualitative interviews lasting approximately 60 min.

    Participants were queried about their overall impressions of the tool, perceptions regarding various types of feedback messages, and additional features that would help motivate health behaviour change.

    Using thematic analysis, interview transcripts were coded to identify common themes expressed across participants.

    Overall, the tool was well-received by participants who perceived it as a way to enhance—but not replace—their interactions with providers. They appreciated receiving non-judgmental feedback from the tool and responded positively to information regarding the consequences of behaviours, comparisons with peer norms and health guidelines, tips for behaviour change, and reinforcement of healthy choices.

    When prompted for possible adaptations to the tool, adolescents expressed interest in receiving follow-up information, setting health-related goals, tracking their behaviours over time, and communicating with providers electronically between appointments.

    The authors conclude that adolescents in this qualitative study desired feedback that validates their healthy behaviour choices and supports them as independent decision makers by neutrally presenting health information, facilitating goal setting, and offering ongoing technological supports.

    You can read the full article in the JMIR here: http://www.jmir.org/2017/7/e261/

    Zieve GG, Richardson LP, Katzman K, Spielvogle H, Whitehouse S, McCarty CA

    Adolescents’ Perspectives on Personalized E-Feedback in the Context of Health Risk Behavior Screening for Primary Care: Qualitative Study

    J Med Internet Res 2017;19(7):e261

    DOI: 10.2196/jmir.7474