Usability and feasibility of the mobile digital health ‘NoObesity’ app for families and healthcare professionals: a feasibility study (Preprint)
Meinert E., Rahman E., Potter A., Lawrence W., Van Velthoven M.
<sec> <title>BACKGROUND</title> <p>Almost a quarter or more than a fifth of children in the United Kingdom (UK) are overweight or obese by the time they start school. The UK Department of Health and Social Care has updated national policy for combating childhood obesity in 2018 (UK Department of Health and Social Care: Global Public Health Directorate: Obesity, Food and Nutrition / 10800: Childhood obesity: a plan for action – Chapter 2), with critical outcomes centred on sugar and caloric consumption reduction. Health Education England has developed two digital apps for families with children up to 15 and for their associated health care professionals (HCPs) to provide a digital learning resource and tool aimed at encouraging healthy lifestyles to prevent obesity.</p> </sec> <sec> <title>OBJECTIVE</title> <p>This feasibility study assesses Health Education England’s NoObesity app usability and acceptability to undertake activities to improve families’ diet and physical activity. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the app’s influence on self-efficacy and goal setting and to determine what can be learned to improve its design for future studies, should there be evidence of adoption and sustainability.</p> </sec> <sec> <title>METHODS</title> <p>The study population will include 20-40 families and their linked health care professionals. Recognising issues related to digital access associated to socioeconomic status (SES) and impact to information technology (IT) use, study recruitment will be regionally focused on a low SES area. The study will last nine-months; three months intervention period and six months follow up. The evaluation of feasibility, acceptability, and usability will be conducted using the following scales and theoretical frameworks: 1. The system usability scale; 2. The Reach Effectiveness Adoption Implementation Maintenance (RE-AIM) framework; 3. Bandura’s model of health promotion; and 4. The Nonadoption, Abandonment, and Challenges to the Scale-up, Spread, and Suitability (NASSS) framework. App use will be captured and quantitatively analysed for net use patterns (e.g. number of screens viewed, number of logins, cumulative minutes using the app, number of plans made, number of times goals met) and to triangulate qualitative feedback from study participants. Qualitative semi-structured interviews will be undertaken to evaluate acceptability and usability of the apps. Engagement and interaction between families and healthcare professionals will be evaluated. Interviews will be scheduled to last between 40 and 60 minutes (maximum). The interviews will be undertaken at three-month and six-month intervals to allow for analysis of the impact of the intervention. All interviews will be recorded, transcribed and coded using thematic analysis.</p> </sec> <sec> <title>RESULTS</title> <p>This study has been granted ethical approval from the University of Oxford's Medical Sciences Interdivisional Research Ethics Committee, under reference R62092/RE001, for a period of 27 months commencing 31st January 2020.</p> </sec> <sec> <title>CONCLUSIONS</title> <p>This study will provide evidence on the NoObesity app’s influence on self-efficacy and goal-setting and to determine what can be learned to improve its design for future studies, should there be evidence of adoption and sustainability.</p> </sec> <sec> <title>CLINICALTRIAL</title> <p>N/A</p> </sec>