Online Program

Leveraging Best Practices of Behavior Change Science in the Development of mHealth Interventions

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Deborah Van Marter, M.P.H., Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc., South Kingstown, RI
Leanne Mauriello, Ph.D., Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc., South Kingstown, RI
Emma de Aguiar, B.A., Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc., South Kingstown, RI
Cindy Umanzor, M.P.H., Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc., South Kingstown, RI
background: Mobile health (mHealth) interventions are being created and adopted on a fast track and often without incorporating science-based best practices. This presentation will draw upon examples of two successful mHealth interventions, 1) Healthy Pregnancy, a Transtheoretical Model (TTM) based multiple behavior program for underserved women, and 2) Responsible Drinking, a TTM-based intervention for employed adults, to illustrate how a foundation in behavior change science can increase engagement, acceptability, effectiveness, and retention.

methods: Strategies utilized in the development and delivery of the mHealth interventions will be presented, including: 1) extensive formative participatory research, 2) stage-matched messages, activities, and number of touch points, 3) dynamic and individually tailored feedback, 4) proactive communication via tailored text messaging, 5) engaging and interactive targeted activities, and 6) vigorous evaluation of effectiveness.

results: Findings from pilot tests and randomized clinical trials of both interventions will be presented to illustrate the success of the approach. The Healthy Pregnancy trial yielded nearly 100% recruitment, 70% retention (N=335, 65% Hispanic), and significant reductions in overall behavior risks compared to usual care at 4 months (0.72 vs. 0.91 risks; OR=.81) postpartum. The Responsible Drinking trial has retained 79% of an online sample (N=1012, 11% Hispanic) at 6-months with recruitment completed within 6 weeks. A pilot test demonstrated high acceptability with 94% reporting recommending the program, and participants reported intending to drink on average 2.9 drinks fewer per week (t(152)=-6.90, p<.001).

conclusions: Leveraging best practices in behavior change science within mHealth programs can increase engagement and impact.

Learning Areas:

Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe how best practices in behavior change science can be incorporated into the development of mHealth interventions.

Keyword(s): Evidence-Based Practice, Behavioral Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the Project Manager on both of the research projects described in this presentation, which are federally funded grants focused on behaviors related to healthy pregnancy and promoting responsible drinking among employed adults. In this role, I have been heavily involved in the conceptualization, development, and delivery of the interventions being described.
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.