You will use the theories you read about to assess health behavior apps/devices. For a reminder, read this Wikipedia page on behavior change theories (Links to an external site.). Be sure to click the theories’ individual links to read more about each theory. Also, visit the other resources at the bottom. This Health Behavior App Report is a 3-page paper you will complete on your own and submit here. Use two behavior change or behavior monitoring apps (or devices) for a week. (These can be tools like a friend’s FitBit, the health-related apps on an Apple Watch, the app MyFitnessPal, or another exercise, meal, or mental health app on your phone.) In your paper, you will compare the two tools you used. Write a report discussing their strengths and weaknesses. Include the following components as part of the comparisons in your report:
Write a brief overview of both of the apps’ purpose and features.
- What agency or company created each app? Describe whether these institutions and their technology are trustworthy or not and why.
- Describe the behavior change theory/theories that are evident in the apps/devices and which features are theoretically based. Be sure to cite the theoretical evidence.
- Describe if the features are effective, based on both the research and based on your personal use of the app/device.
- Investigate the apps’ ethics and policies around your data and how/if they keep your information secure.
- What features do they provide around interoperability (Links to an external site.)?
- What are your final conclusions on the apps’ effectiveness and what results did you have from using them?
- What recommendations do you have for changes to the app that would make it more in line with a theoretical model?
Complete a 3-5 page report (not including the references page) on your use of the apps/devices. Be sure to incorporate some of your assigned readings and have all of your citations and references in APA style. Refer to the APA Guide at libguides.uta.edu/apa (Links to an external site.) for help.
This text has chapters on the common behavior change theories. Feel free to refer to it as a helpful reference: Health Behavior and Health Education: Theory, Research and Practice (Links to an external site.). You can also find additional resources by searching the name of your device in PubMed and Google Scholar or by searching for literature on your theory/theories.
Use the following guidelines for structuring your paper.
- Start by summarizing the apps and their general features (approximately 2 paragraphs).
- Describe data functionality, including data security, interoperability, policy, and ethics (approximately 2 paragraphs).
- Describe the theoretical components, make sure to describe concepts from the theory/theories and how these play out via both apps’ features – be sure to compare and contrast the apps (approximately 1 – 1.5 pages).
- Detail whether the way these theoretical concepts play out is effective and why or why not using evidence to back up your position – be sure to compare and contrast the apps (approximately 3 paragraphs).
- Finally, describe what results you had yourself in using the apps (e.g., were you consistent in use, did you accomplish your health goals, did you find the app discouraging, encouraging, or have no effect, etc.) and give your recommendations for improvement for both apps (approximately 1-2 paragraphs).