265144 Dosage in the Digital Age: Monday messaging as an important tool in mobile health

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 12:50 PM - 1:10 PM

Morgan Johnson, MPH , The Monday Campaigns, New York, NY
The number of text and email-based health campaigns is on the rise, largely due to their cost-effectiveness and ease of use. Evaluations of digital health promotion programs are beginning to show the positive impact these technologies can have on health in a variety of populations. While assessing outcomes is critical for any public health initiative, practitioners could increase program impact by answering the following: 1) How often should we be sending communications to program participants? and 2) When is the ideal window of time to be delivering these messages? These questions regarding “dosage” have yet to be adequately answered by the scientific community. However, current evidence suggests that weekly messages may be an ideal frequency to motivate people to start and maintain healthy behaviors, and Monday may be the best day for such messages to be delivered. A number of public health organizations have already taken advantage of the “Monday Effect” by implementing their digital health programs at the beginning of the week. For example, the National Cancer Institute, through its smokefree.gov website, promotes a “Monday Pledge” and “Healthy Monday Challenge” to help people quit smoking. Mondays have also been used to boost participation in social media related to Meatless Monday, which in a few short years has developed into a global movement to fight obesity and health problems by helping to reduce people's fat and cholesterol intake. By leveraging the natural tendency to focus on health behaviors at the beginning of the week, these programs are able to improve outcomes and establish a sustainable social context for healthy behavior. This presentation will walk participants through current research supporting the Monday phenomenon, and will provide simple ways to increase participation and adherence to any digital communications-based health promotion program by identifying optimal windows of time for program promotion and outreach.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Communication and informatics
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain how indentifying recurring patterns in health behavior and health information-seeking behavior provides critical information for timing of mobile health messaging. 2. Discuss ways in which mobile health and social media developers can assess program data to identify and take advantage of patterns in health seeking behaviors. 3. Describe the development and success of the "Healthy Monday" campaign.

Keywords: Communication Technology, Social Marketing

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have managed a number of local and federally funded programs focused on health communication and health promotion at the local, state and federal levels.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.