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Title: Developing Persuasive Strategies to Facilitate Use of Mobile Health (mHealth) applications for Stress Management among NUST students.
Other Titles: Submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Informatics In the Department of Informatics at the NAMIBIA UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY.
Authors: Akinmoyeje, Benjamin Akintunde
Keywords: Persuasive Technologies
Persuasive Strategies
Behavioral Change
Issue Date: 30-Jul-2020
Publisher: Namibia University of Science and Technology
Citation: Akinmoyeje, B. A. (2020). Developing Persuasive Strategies to Facilitate Use of Mobile Health (mHealth) applications for Stress Management among NUST students [Unpublished master's thesis]. Namibia University of Science and Technology.
Abstract: Unmanaged stress negatively impacts the health of students and it has a tendency of leading to mental health disorders. Hence, the alarming statistics on stress - induced conditions in Namibia calls for concern. Unmanaged stress can potentially lead to depression. Unsurprisingly, depression is one of the major contributors to suicide in Namibia. Namibia ranks the 4th highest country in Africa on suicide rates within the age group of 18-28 years. This represents a significant percentage of the vulnerable population susceptible to suicide in the country. Mobile health (mHealth) applications have achieved remarkable success in the healthcare domain. The use of mHealth applications to manage chronic illnesses has gained popularity with patients especially as mobile phones become ubiquitous. Mobile apps for stress management are readily available and can be easily downloaded online for individual use. Most of these mHealth applications are free and they work either online or offline. However there is limited use of mHealth applications for stress management among Namibian students despite the availability of mHealth applications for stress management that can help improve the handling of stress conditions. Persuasive technology is the use of computers to change people’s behaviour. Persuasive technologies have the potential of improving health behaviour as shown in the literature. Unfortunately, there is limited study to show persuasive strategies included in some of the available mHealth applications for stress management, especially for the Namibian context. There is a need to investigate persuasive strategies that will motivate NUST students to use mHealth applications to initiate health behavioural change. This study planned to develop persuasive strategies that would facilitate the use of mHealth applications for stress management among NUST students. This was done by identifying persuasive elements in existing academic literature and qualitative research methodology was used to investigate suitable persuasive strategies required to motivate the use of mHealth apps for stress management among NUST students. Design Science Research strategy was applied in the study and NUST was the case considered in the evaluation of the developed guidelines. The first phase of the research was systematic literature scoping to identify elements of persuasive strategies in existing literature and persuasive elements in mobile apps for stress management. The review identified 21 persuasive strategies in the thirty-one (31) studies evaluated. The second phase included student interviews, which were developed with selected lists of context relevant elements of persuasive strategies to see which of them applied to NUST students. The outcome of the interviews was a list of elements of persuasive strategies found to facilitate the use of mHealth apps for stress management by the students and draft guidelines developed. Content analysis was used to analyse the data gathered from the interviews. The final phase involved interviews with mental health professionals and mHealth apps developers to review and validate the identified elements of persuasive strategies and guidelines identified; for their efficacy and suitability for mHealth apps for stress management among NUST students. The findings revealed 24 persuasive elements. Personalization, Tunnelling, Mindfulness, Self-tracking, Social Influence and Reminders were among the preferred persuasive strategies for mHealth apps for stress management. Scarcity, Liking, Leaderboard and Environment were not favoured. Engaging elements of persuasive strategies of the end users can improve the use of mHealth apps for stress management. It is anticipated that the findings of this study will be incorporated into existing and future mHealth apps for stress management especially for students by developers.
Appears in Collections:Masters and PhD Theses

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