Acceptability, engagement, and exploratory outcomes of an emotional well-being app: Mixed methods preliminary evaluation and descriptive analysis

Amelia Eisenstadt*, Shaun Liverpool, Athina Marina Metaxa, Roberta Maria Ciuvat, Courtney Carlsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

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Abstract

Background: There is growing evidence suggesting that the emotional wellbeing of the general public have been negatively affected within the past year. Consequently, there have been an increase in demand for wellbeing support. Whilst there is substantial empirical support for mental health apps
that target diagnosed conditions, there is less research on emotional wellbeing apps. Amongst existing wellbeing apps, few studies have been conducted on apps that are based on lived experience and those that seek to enhance user’s understanding of their emotional patterns. Thus, the acceptability of these
novel apps will require further evaluation before upscaling.
Objective: The primary aim of this evaluation is to describe the acceptability, engagement, and preliminary outcomes of using an app (Paradym) designed to promote emotional wellbeing and positive mental health.
Methods: This is a pre- and post -mixed methods single-arm evaluation, aggregate with digital analytics data. We anonymously collected real world data on demographics, wellbeing, usability and acceptance of the app using validated questionnaires and open-ended questions. Participants tested the app for a minimum of 2 weeks before completing follow up measures. Google Analytics was used to record levels of app engagement. Chi Square and t-tests were conducted to analyze quantitative data, and a thematic analysis approach was adopted for qualitative data.
Results: A total of 115 participants completed baseline questionnaires, of which 91 (79.13%) users downloaded the app. The sample was diverse in terms of ethnicity, including of 50 (43.5%) people self-identifying as belonging minority ethnic groups. The majority of the sample were females (78, 67.24%) and between the ages 18-25 (39, 33.62%). Thirty-four app users who completed
questionnaires at baseline and follow-up providing valuable feedback to inform future directions of Paradym. Favorable themes emerged describing the app’s content, functionality and underlying principles. Although usability feedback varied across items, a considerable number of participants (22, 64.7%) found that the app was easy to use. Google Analytics revealed that at least 27 (80%)
persons used the app on a daily basis. Based on preliminary observations, app users experienced increased mental wellbeing. Post hoc analyses indicated that the reduction in depression scores (t33 = - 2.16) and the increase on the wellbeing measures (t33 = 2.87) were statistically significant. No adverse
events were reported during the evaluation period.
Conclusion: The findings of this evaluation are encouraging and documents positive preliminary evidence for the Paradym app.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere31064
Pages (from-to)1-16
JournalJMIR Formative Research
Volume5
Issue number11
Early online date27 Sep 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021

Keywords

  • App
  • Awareness
  • Formative
  • Mental health
  • Mobile phone
  • Smartphone
  • Well-being

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