Appropriation of mobile health for diabetes self-management : lessons from two qualitative studies
Date of Issue2019
Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information
Background: To achieve clarity on mobile health’s (mHealth’s) potential in the diabetes context, it is necessary to understand potential users’ needs and expectations, as well as the factors determining their mHealth use. Recently, a few studies have examined the user perspective in the mHealth context, but their explanatory value is constrained because of their limitation to adoption factors. Objective: This paper uses the mobile phone appropriation model to examine how individuals with type 1 or type 2 diabetes integrate mobile technology into their everyday self-management. The study advances the field beyond mere usage metrics or the simple dichotomy of adoption versus rejection. Methods: Data were gathered in 2 qualitative studies in Singapore and Germany, with 21 and 16 respondents, respectively. Conducting semistructured interviews, we asked respondents about their explicit use of diabetes-related apps, their general use of varied mobile technologies to manage their disease, and their daily practices of self-management. Results: The analysis revealed that although some individuals with diabetes used dedicated diabetes apps, most used tools across the entire mobile-media spectrum, including lifestyle and messaging apps, traditional health information websites and forums. The material indicated general barriers to usage, including financial, technical, and temporal restrictions. Conclusions: In sum, we find that use patterns differ regarding users’ evaluations, expectancies, and appropriation styles, which might explain the inconclusive picture of effects studies in the diabetes mHealth context.
© 2019 Constanze Rossmann, Claudia Riesmeyer, Nicola Brew-Sam, Veronika Karnowski, Sven Joeckel, Arul Chib, Rich Ling. Originally published in JMIR Diabetes (http://diabetes.jmir.org), 29.03.2019. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Diabetes, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on http://diabetes.jmir.org/, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.