My Wellness Coach: Evaluation of a mobile app designed to promote integrative health among underserved populations

Nicole P. Yuan, Audrey J. Brooks, Molly K. Burke, Robert Crocker, Gates Matthew Stoner, Paula Cook, Mei Kuang Chen, Juan Bautista, Patricia Petralba, Shannon Whitewater, Victoria Maizes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Underserved populations, including those from racial and ethnic groups and with low socioeconomic status, often lack access to mobile apps aimed at reducing health risk factors. This study evaluated the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effectiveness of the mobile app, My Wellness Coach (MWC), designed to promote behavior change in seven core areas of integrative health among underserved populations. Patients and staff were recruited from clinic and other settings. Some participants used MWC in a weekly group setting (n = 5); others on their own with support from a coordinator (n = 36). Health outcomes were assessed at baseline and 3 months. Mobile app ratings were collected at 5 weeks and 3 months. Goal setting data were analyzed at 3 months. Most participants (76%) set at least one goal, 71% created action steps for goals, and 29% completed a goal. Patients in the group setting had the highest rate of goal completion (60%) compared to patients (20%) and staff (27%) using the app on their own. Significant (p <. 05) changes in pre-and post-Test scores were documented for overall wellbeing, global physical health, BMI, vigorous physical activity, and eHealth literacy. Most participants (75%-91%) gave MWC high ratings for impact on behavior change, help seeking, intent to change, attitudes, knowledge, and awareness. This study documented preliminary evidence of the potential benefits of MWC among underserved communities. Future evaluations of Spanish and Android versions and comparisons between group and individual administration will inform implementation strategies for scaling MWC-based interventions to reach underserved communities nationally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)752-760
Number of pages9
JournalTranslational behavioral medicine
Volume12
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Integrative health
  • Mobile app
  • Underserved populations
  • mHealth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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