Currently submitted to: JMIR Nursing
Date Submitted: Apr 12, 2020
Open Peer Review Period: Apr 12, 2020 - May 24, 2020
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mHealth Applications as Effective Persuasive Health Technology: Contextualizing the ‘Necessary’ Functionalities
Persuasive health technology is any technology purposely designed to influence, reinforce, change, or shape health-related attitudes or behaviours. Behavioural interventions can be developed for the purpose of maintaining, or improving a person’s health status. Delivering behavioural interventions via persuasive health technologies is a promising approach for encouraging healthy behaviours among individuals, and populations. Important attributes of all persuasive health technologies include their functionalities. A functionality refers to any useful features, functions, capabilities, or technologies associated with computer hardware or software. Creating effective persuasive health technologies requires a deliberate selection of appropriate functionalities for supporting specific behavioural interventions. The number, and types of functionalities necessary to create an effective persuasive health technology will be specific to the context of each project, influenced by project objectives, stakeholder goals, behavioural interventions, and a variety of real-world constraints. Selecting appropriate functionalities can be challenging. Fortunately, there are frameworks and models developed specifically for guiding the design of persuasive health technologies. The Persuasive Systems Design model describes 4 categories, and 28 design principles for creating effective persuasive interventions. These same design principles could also be useful for guiding the selection of appropriate functionalities.
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