JOURNAL ARTICLE

mHealth Technology as a Persuasive Tool for Treatment, Care and Management of Persons Living with HIV

Rebecca Schnall, Suzanne Bakken, Marlene Rojas, Jasmine Travers, Alex Carballo-Dieguez
AIDS and Behavior 2015, 19 Suppl 2: 81-9
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Mobile health (mHealth) technology can be a valuable tool in the management of chronic illnesses, including HIV. Qualitative research methods were used to identify the desired content and features of a mobile app for meeting and improving the healthcare needs of persons living with HIV (PLWH). We conducted six focus group sessions with 50 English-or Spanish-speaking PLWH in New York City. To inform data analysis and to illustrate how mHealth technology can be used as a persuasive strategy for improving the health of PLWH, we integrated Fogg's functional role triad for computing technology model with the self-determination theory to illustrate how mHealth technology can be used as a persuasive strategy for improving the health of PLWH. Participants suggested several tools for meeting their healthcare needs, including: reminders/alerts, lab results tracking, and notes on health status. mHealth technology can function as a social actor by providing chat boxes/forums, testimonials of lived experiences, and personal outreach. Examples of media that can be used as a persuasive technology include games/virtual rewards, coding of health tasks, and simulations on how to connect with PLWH. Findings from these focus groups can be used to design a mobile app for PLWH that is targeted to meet their healthcare needs.

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