Publication
Title
A mobile healthy lifestyle intervention to promote mental health in adolescence : a mixed-methods evaluation
Author
Abstract
Background A healthy lifestyle may improve mental health. It is yet not known whether and how a mobile intervention can be of help in achieving this in adolescents. This study investigated the effectiveness and perceived underlying mechanisms of the mobile health (mHealth) intervention #LIFEGOALS to promote healthy lifestyles and mental health. #LIFEGOALS is an evidence-based app with activity tracker, including self-regulation techniques, gamification elements, a support chatbot, and health narrative videos.Methods A quasi-randomized controlled trial (N = 279) with 12-week intervention period and process evaluation interviews (n = 13) took place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Adolescents (12-15y) from the general population were allocated at school-level to the intervention (n = 184) or to a no-intervention group (n = 95). Health-related quality of life (HRQoL), psychological well-being, mood, self-perception, peer support, resilience, depressed feelings, sleep quality and breakfast frequency were assessed via a web-based survey; physical activity, sedentary time, and sleep routine via Axivity accelerometers. Multilevel generalized linear models were fitted to investigate intervention effects and moderation by pandemic-related measures. Interviews were coded using thematic analysis.Results Non-usage attrition was high: 18% of the participants in the intervention group never used the app. An additional 30% stopped usage by the second week. Beneficial intervention effects were found for physical activity (chi(2)(1) = 4.36, P = .04), sedentary behavior (chi(2)(1) = 6.44, P = .01), sleep quality (chi(2)(1) = 6.11, P = .01), and mood (chi(2)(1) = 2.30, P = .02). However, effects on activity-related behavior were only present for adolescents having normal sports access, and effects on mood only for adolescents with full in-school education. HRQoL (chi(2)(2) = 14.72, P < .001), mood (chi(2)(1) = 6.03, P = .01), and peer support (chi(2)(1) = 13.69, P < .001) worsened in adolescents with pandemic-induced remote-education. Interviewees reported that the reward system, self-regulation guidance, and increased health awareness had contributed to their behavior change. They also pointed to the importance of social factors, quality of technology and autonomy for mHealth effectiveness.Conclusions #LIFEGOALS showed mixed results on health behaviors and mental health. The findings highlight the role of contextual factors for mHealth promotion in adolescence, and provide suggestions to optimize support by a chatbot and narrative episodes.
Language
English
Source (journal)
BMC public health. - London
Publication
London : 2024
ISSN
1471-2458
DOI
10.1186/S12889-023-17260-9
Volume/pages
24 :1 (2024) , p. 1-19
Article Reference
44
ISI
001135394000025
Pubmed ID
38166797
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identifier
Creation 01.02.2024
Last edited 06.02.2024
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