• Examining factors of engagement wth digital interventions for weight management: Rapid review

      Sharpe, Emma; Karasouli, Eleni; Meyer, Caroline; University of Derby; University of Warwick (JMIR Publications, 2017-10-23)
      Background: Digital interventions for weight management provide a unique opportunity to target daily lifestyle choices and eating behaviors over a sustained period of time. However, recent evidence has demonstrated a lack of user engagement with digital health interventions, impacting on the levels of intervention effectiveness. Thus, it is critical to identify the factors that may facilitate user engagement with digital health interventions to encourage behavior change and weight management. Objective: The aim of this study was to identify and synthesize the available evidence to gain insights about users’ perspectives on factors that affect engagement with digital interventions for weight management. Methods: A rapid review methodology was adopted. The search strategy was executed in the following databases: Web of Science, PsycINFO, and PubMed. Studies were eligible for inclusion if they investigated users’ engagement with a digital weight management intervention and were published from 2000 onwards. A narrative synthesis of data was performed on all included studies. Results: A total of 11 studies were included in the review. The studies were qualitative, mixed-methods, or randomized controlled trials. Some of the studies explored features influencing engagement when using a Web-based digital intervention, others specifically explored engagement when accessing a mobile phone app, and some looked at engagement after text message (short message service, SMS) reminders. Factors influencing engagement with digital weight management interventions were found to be both user-related (eg, perceived health benefits) and digital intervention–related (eg, ease of use and the provision of personalized information). Conclusions: The findings highlight the importance of incorporating user perspectives during the digital intervention development process to encourage engagement. The review contributes to our understanding of what facilitates user engagement and points toward a coproduction approach for developing digital interventions for weight management. Particularly, it highlights the importance of thinking about user-related and digital tool–related factors from the very early stages of the intervention development process.