Optimizing engagement with Internet-based health behaviour change interventions: Comparison of self-assessment with and without tailored feedback using a mixed methods approach

Leanne Morrison, Rona Moss-Morris, Susan Michie, Lucy Yardley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives
Internet-based health behaviour interventions have variable effects on health-related outcomes. Effectiveness may be improved by optimizing the design of interventions. This study examined the specific effect on engagement of providing two different design features – tailoring and self-assessment.

Design
Three versions of an Internet-delivered intervention to support the self-care of mild bowel problems were developed that provided (1) self-assessment without tailored feedback, (2) self-assessment with tailored feedback, and (3) generic information only.

Methods
A qualitative study explored participants' engagement with each version of the intervention (N = 24). A larger quantitative study systematically compared participants' use of the intervention and self-reported engagement using a partial factorial design (n = 178).

Results
Findings from the qualitative study suggested that self-assessment without tailored feedback appeared to be less acceptable to participants because it was viewed as offering no personal benefit in the absence of personalized advice. In the quantitative study, self-assessment without tailored feedback was associated with greater dropout than when provided in conjunction with tailored feedback. There were significant group differences in participants' engagement with the intervention and perceptions of the intervention. Self-assessment without tailored feedback was rated as marginally less engaging and was associated with fewer positive perceptions than the generic information condition.

Conclusions
The acceptability of self-assessment or monitoring components may be optimized by also providing tailored feedback. Without tailored feedback, these components do not appear to be any more engaging than generic information provision.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)839-855
Number of pages17
JournalBritish Journal of Health Psychology
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014

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