Examining factors of engagement wth digital interventions for weight management: Rapid review

Journal article


Sharpe, Emma, Karasouli, Eleni and Meyer, Caroline 2017. Examining factors of engagement wth digital interventions for weight management: Rapid review. JMIR Research Protocols. https://doi.org/10.2196/resprot.6059
AuthorsSharpe, Emma, Karasouli, Eleni and Meyer, Caroline
Abstract

Background: Digital interventions for weight management provide a unique opportunity to target daily lifestyle choices and eating behaviors over a sustained period of time. However, recent evidence has demonstrated a lack of user engagement with digital health interventions, impacting on the levels of intervention effectiveness. Thus, it is critical to identify the factors that may facilitate user engagement with digital health interventions to encourage behavior change and weight management. Objective: The aim of this study was to identify and synthesize the available evidence to gain insights about users’ perspectives on factors that affect engagement with digital interventions for weight management. Methods: A rapid review methodology was adopted. The search strategy was executed in the following databases: Web of Science, PsycINFO, and PubMed. Studies were eligible for inclusion if they investigated users’ engagement with a digital weight management intervention and were published from 2000 onwards. A narrative synthesis of data was performed on all included studies. Results: A total of 11 studies were included in the review. The studies were qualitative, mixed-methods, or randomized controlled trials. Some of the studies explored features influencing engagement when using a Web-based digital intervention, others specifically explored engagement when accessing a mobile phone app, and some looked at engagement after text message (short message service, SMS) reminders. Factors influencing engagement with digital weight management interventions were found to be both user-related (eg, perceived health benefits) and digital intervention–related (eg, ease of use and the provision of personalized information). Conclusions: The findings highlight the importance of incorporating user perspectives during the digital intervention development process to encourage engagement. The review contributes to our understanding of what facilitates user engagement and points toward a coproduction approach for developing digital interventions for weight management. Particularly, it highlights the importance of thinking about user-related and digital tool–related factors from the very early stages of the intervention development process.

Background: Digital interventions for weight management provide a unique opportunity to target daily lifestyle choices and
eating behaviors over a sustained period of time. However, recent evidence has demonstrated a lack of user engagement with
digital health interventions, impacting on the levels of intervention effectiveness. Thus, it is critical to identify the factors that
may facilitate user engagement with digital health interventions to encourage behavior change and weight management.
Objective: The aim of this study was to identify and synthesize the available evidence to gain insights about users’ perspectives
on factors that affect engagement with digital interventions for weight management.
Methods: A rapid review methodology was adopted. The search strategy was executed in the following databases: Web of
Science, PsycINFO, and PubMed. Studies were eligible for inclusion if they investigated users’ engagement with a digital weight
management intervention and were published from 2000 onwards. A narrative synthesis of data was performed on all included
studies.
Results: A total of 11 studies were included in the review. The studies were qualitative, mixed-methods, or randomized controlled
trials. Some of the studies explored features influencing engagement when using a Web-based digital intervention, others specifically
explored engagement when accessing a mobile phone app, and some looked at engagement after text message (short message
service, SMS) reminders. Factors influencing engagement with digital weight management interventions were found to be both
user-related (eg, perceived health benefits) and digital intervention–related (eg, ease of use and the provision of personalized
information).
Conclusions: The findings highlight the importance of incorporating user perspectives during the digital intervention development
process to encourage engagement. The review contributes to our understanding of what facilitates user engagement and points
toward a coproduction approach for developing digital interventions for weight management. Particularly, it highlights the
importance of thinking about user-related and digital tool–related factors from the very early stages of the intervention development
process.

KeywordsWeight loss; Obesity; Patient engagement; Self-help; Health technology; eHealth; Mobile apps; Patient adherence; Review
Year2017
JournalJMIR Research Protocols
PublisherJMIR Publications
ISSN19290748
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.2196/resprot.6059
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/621939
hdl:10545/621939
Publication dates23 Oct 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited10 Nov 2017, 09:03
Accepted04 Sep 2017
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Archived with thanks to JMIR Research Protocols

ContributorsUniversity of Derby and University of Warwick
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