A mixed-methods investigation into the user experience of well-being applications

Smith, Catherine (2020) A mixed-methods investigation into the user experience of well-being applications. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

Mobile technology, including applications, can offer a range of benefits as an intervention delivery method, such as cost-effectiveness and ease of access. Well-being interventions have been developed in order to support people who do not have a diagnosis of mental ill health, but who are still not flourishing or feel fully satisfied with their lives. Mobile technology could be the most suitable way of delivering these interventions, as they can be accessed anonymously by many people as and when they are needed, without using large amount of resources and contact time with mental health professionals. However, mobile technology can only be a successful delivery method if users are engaged with the applications.

This thesis aims to examine the user experience of well-being applications and presents the results of the three empirical studies which aim to investigate the acceptability, usability and implementation of well-being applications, through the framework of the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) (Davis, 1986) and the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) (Damschroder et al, 2009). In the first empirical study, relationships from the TAM are validated in a new context of well-being and it is shown that perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness predict attitude towards and intention to use well- being applications, which suggests that the usability of an application can affect how much it is used. In the second empirical study, a prototype application was developed, and a usability test was conducted which showed that it was rated as easy to use and understand. This confers with the results of a comprehensive literature review examining the current investigation into the usability of well- being applications.

In the final empirical study, a series of focus groups was conducted to examine the barriers and facilitators of implementing well-being applications and recommendations for future design and implementation of well-being applications is discussed. All three studies demonstrate the importance of engagement in encouraging technology use. Engagement has been included in an extended model of the TAM as a determinant of perceived ease of use, but the conclusions of this thesis suggest that it may play a more prominent role and should be included more centrally.

Overall, it is concluded that well-being applications offer a delivery method which is attractive to users and easy to use, but that future development should focus on increasing the entertainment and engagement in order to increase adherence. This thesis contributes to future practice by concluding with guidelines for the development, implementation and reporting of mobile technology-based interventions for well and contributes to theoretical knowledge by demonstrating the need to investigate extending the TAM to include a measure of perceived engagement as a predictor of intention to use mobile technology for well-being.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Thomson, Louise
Keywords: Well-being; Mobile applications; Mobile technology; Technology acceptance; User experience; Technology usability; Technology Acceptance Model Positive psychology
Subjects: W Medicine and related subjects (NLM Classification) > W Health professions
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
Item ID: 61007
Depositing User: Smith, Catherine
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2020 13:14
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2020 13:14
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/61007

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