Gamification of a Digital Health Technology for Unmotivated Smokers: Concept and User-driven Development

Date
2019-01-08
Authors
Blok, Amanda
Sadasivam, Rajani
Amante, Daniel
Kamberi, Ariana
Flahive, Julie
Houston, Thomas
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Abstract
Digital health technologies most often reach only those more motivated to engage, particularly when preventive health is targeted. To test whether gamification could be used to engage the unmotivated, we conceptualized “Take a Break” - a three-week technology-assisted challenge for smokers to compete in setting and achieving brief abstinence goals. Usability testing of the multi-technology Take a Break challenge was performed by a panel of smokers. These smokers were given 1) daily motivational messages, 2) brief “challenge quizzes” related to smoking behaviors, 3) a telehealth call to personalize their abstinence goal for the challenge and 4) a set “coping mini-games” to help manage cravings while attempting to achieve their brief abstinence goals. Fifth, a leaderboard “webApp” gave feedback on smokers’ participation compared to others engaged in the challenge, allowing for competition. We used usability testing to further refine the elements. Meaningful gamification was successful in engaging unmotivated smokers
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Keywords
Health Behavior Change Support Systems, Information Technology in Healthcare, gamification, digital health technologies, mobile health, tobacco users, motivation
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