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Title: How do users perceive and engage with Internet-based interventions to support health-related behaviour change?
Author: Morrison, Leanne Georgette
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2011
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Previous research has shown that Internet-based health behaviour interventions can have variable effects on health -related outcomes. Effectiveness may be improved by optimising the design of interventions. However, there have been few systematic investigations to identify the specific effects on outcomes of different ways of delivering intervention content. This thesis describes the theory-based development and evaluation of three different versions of an Internet-based health intervention to compare user engagement with two interactive design features - tailoring and self management (self-assessment and activity planning). To inform the design of the intervention, reviews of the quantitative and qualitative literatures and two qualitative think-aloud studies of individuals' reactions to the intervention, and another intervention, were undertaken. A quantitative study using a partial factorial design showed that self-assessment and activity planning were more engaging when provided in conjunction with tailored feedback. The version providing self- assessment and activity planning without tailored feedback was rated as less engaging than the version which also provided tailored feedback, and a version which only provided generic information. Self-assessment and activity planning without tailored feedback was also associated with greater drop out and lower satisfaction. The think-aloud study suggested that self-assessment without tailored feedback may have been less engaging because participants were disappointed and frustrated by completing self-assessment quizzes, which offered no personal benefit and no personalised advice. The quantitative study, and a second think-aloud study of a different intervention, also suggested that participants' intrinsic motivation, health locus of control beliefs, and confidence in self-caring for medical symptoms may be associated with differences in their engagement with intervention design. This thesis has shown that there are differences between the individual and combined effect of different interactive design features on user engagement with Internet-based health behaviour interventions. This thesis also suggests that users' preferences and beliefs may influence their engagement with intervention design.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available