Engaging Users in the Behavior Change Process With Digitalized Motivational Interviewing and Gamification: Development and Feasibility Testing of the Precious App.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Most adults do not engage in sufficient physical activity to maintain good health. Smartphone apps are increasingly used to support physical activity but typically focus on tracking behaviors with no support for the complex process of behavior change. Tracking features do not engage all users, and apps could better reach their targets by engaging users in reflecting their reasons, capabilities, and opportunities to change. Motivational interviewing supports this active engagement in self-reflection and self-regulation by fostering psychological needs proposed by the self-determination theory (ie, autonomy, competence, and relatedness). However, it is unknown whether digitalized motivational interviewing in a smartphone app engages users in this process. OBJECTIVE:This study aimed to describe the theory- and evidence-based development of the Precious app and to examine how digitalized motivational interviewing using a smartphone app engages users in the behavior change process. Specifically, we aimed to determine if use of the Precious app elicits change talk in participants and how they perceive autonomy support in the app. METHODS:A multidisciplinary team built the Precious app to support engagement in the behavior change process. The Precious app targets reflective processes with motivational interviewing and spontaneous processes with gamified tools, and builds on the principles of self-determination theory and control theory by using 7 relational techniques and 12 behavior change techniques. The feasibility of the app was tested among 12 adults, who were asked to interact with the prototype and think aloud. Semistructured interviews allowed participants to extend their statements. Participants' interactions with the app were video recorded, transcribed, and analyzed with deductive thematic analysis to identify the theoretical themes related to autonomy support and change talk. RESULTS:Participants valued the autonomy supportive features in the Precious app (eg, freedom to pursue personally relevant goals and receive tailored feedback). We identified the following five themes based on the theory-based theme autonomy support: valuing the chance to choose, concern about lack of autonomy, expecting controlling features, autonomous goals, and autonomy supportive feedback. The motivational interviewing features actively engaged participants in reflecting their outcome goals and reasons for activity, producing several types of change talk and very little sustain talk. The types of change talk identified were desire, need, reasons, ability, commitment, and taking steps toward change. CONCLUSIONS:The Precious app takes a unique approach to engage users in the behavior change process by targeting both reflective and spontaneous processes. It allows motivational interviewing in a mobile form, supports psychological needs with relational techniques, and targets intrinsic motivation with gamified elements. The motivational interviewing approach shows promise, but the impact of its interactive features and tailored feedback needs to be studied over time. The Precious app is undergoing testing in a series of n-of-1 randomized controlled trials.
Project description:BACKGROUND:mHealth has experienced a huge growth during the last decade. It has been presented as a new and promising pathway to increase self-management of health and chronic conditions in several populations. One of the most prolific areas of mHealth has been healthy lifestyles promotion. However, few mobile apps have succeeded in engaging people and ensuring sustained use. OBJECTIVE:This paper describes the pilot test protocol of the PReventive Care Infrastructure based on Ubiquitous Sensing (PRECIOUS) project, aimed at validating the PRECIOUS system with end users. This system includes, within a motivational framework, the Bodyguard2 sensor (accelerometer with heart rate monitoring) and the PRECIOUS app. METHODS:This is a pilot experimental study targeting morbidly obese prediabetic patients who will be randomized to three conditions: (1) Group 1 - Control group (Treatment as usual with the endocrinologist and the nurse + Bodyguard2), (2) Group 2 - PRECIOUS system (Bodyguard2 + PRECIOUS app), and (3) Group 3 - PRECIOUS system (Bodyguard2 + PRECIOUS app + Motivational Interviewing). The duration of the study will be 3 months with scheduled follow-up appointments within the scope of the project at Weeks 3, 5, 8, and 12. During the study, several measures related to healthy lifestyles, weight management, and health-related quality of life will be collected to explore the effectiveness of PRECIOUS to foster behavior change, as well as user acceptance, usability, and satisfaction with the solution. RESULTS:Because of the encouraging results shown in similar scientific work analyzing health apps acceptance in clinical settings, we expect patients to widely accept and express satisfaction with PRECIOUS. We also expect to find acceptable usability of the preventive health solution. The recruitment of the pilot study has concluded with the inclusion of 31 morbidly obese prediabetic patients. Results are expected to be available in mid-2017. CONCLUSIONS:Adopting and maintaining healthy habits may be challenging in people with chronic conditions who usually need regular support to ensure mid/long-term adherence to recommendations and behavior change. Thus, mHealth could become a powerful and efficient tool since it allows continuous communication with users and immediate feedback. The PRECIOUS system is an innovative preventive health care solution aimed at enhancing inner motivation from users to change their lifestyles and adopt healthier habits. PRECIOUS includes ubiquitous sensors and a scientifically grounded app to address three main components of health: physical activity, diet, and stress levels. TRIAL REGISTRATION:Clinicaltrials.gov NCT02818790; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02818790 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6qfzdfMoU).
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Counselor and client language have been identified as mechanisms of change in motivational interviewing (MI) counseling sessions. This study evaluated whether language patterns exhibited during MI sessions with substance users in the community would also be found during MI sessions with substance users in the criminal justice system. METHOD:Forty audio recordings of MI sessions with substance-using probationers were coded and analyzed sequentially using the Motivational Interviewing Skills Code (MISC) 2.5. Analyses examined the relationship between counselor and client language, and the relationship between client language and client substance use after 2 months. RESULTS:Counselor MI inconsistent language was associated with decreased change talk (lnOR = - 0.76, p < .05) though not with increased sustain talk. Both sustain talk (b = - 4.591, t = - 18.634 p < .001) and MI inconsistent language MIIN (b = - 4.419, t = - 19.886, p < .001) were positively associated with substance use at 2 months. Sustain talk early in the session (i.e., during deciles 1 and 2) was significantly greater among clients who reported using substances at 2 months, compared to clients who did not use substances. CONCLUSION:These findings are broadly consistent with previous literature documenting the association between counselor language, client language, and client outcome.
Project description:Client speech in favor of change within motivational interviewing sessions has been linked to treatment outcomes, but a causal chain has not yet been demonstrated. Using a sequential behavioral coding system for client speech, the authors found that, at both the session and utterance levels, specific therapist behaviors predict client change talk. Further, a direct link from change talk to drinking outcomes was observed, and support was found for a mediational role for change talk between therapist behavior and client drinking outcomes. These data provide preliminary support for the proposed causal chain indicating that client speech within treatment sessions can be influenced by therapists, who can employ this influence to improve outcomes. Selective eliciting and reinforcement of change talk is proposed as a specific active ingredient of motivational interviewing.
Project description:Motivational Interviewing is a widely used counselling technique. A fundamental principle of this technique is that hearing oneself argue for change strengthens motivation. This study presents the first analysis of participants' dialogue with an automated motivational interviewer. The objective was to explore communication with, and perceptions of, a technology-delivered adaptation of motivational interviewing (TAMI) delivered by a pre-recorded video-counsellor. Eighteen participants undertook the video interview and evaluated it after one week. Interviews were scored for change and sustain talk. Participants' written evaluations were subjected to thematic analysis. Interviews lasted 10?min 30s (SD 3?min 0?s). Change talk was observed in a mean of 16 of 25 responses (SD 3.35, range 11-21). Sustain talk was less frequent (mean?=?3.4 replies, SD?=?2.5, range 0 to 8). Participants disliked seeing their own image in the webcam and desired a personalised interaction where each question depended on the answer given to the previous one. Positive appraisals included space to think about motivation and plans, and hearing themselves voicing goals. A brief, generic, automated TAMI elicited change talk and was perceived as motivating.
Project description:While there has been an explosion of mobile device applications (apps) promoting healthful behaviors, including physical activity and sedentary patterns, surprisingly few have been based explicitly on strategies drawn from behavioral theory and evidence.This study provided an initial 8-week evaluation of three different customized physical activity-sedentary behavior apps drawn from conceptually distinct motivational frames in comparison with a commercially available control app.Ninety-five underactive adults ages 45 years and older with no prior smartphone experience were randomized to use an analytically framed app, a socially framed app, an affectively framed app, or a diet-tracker control app. Daily physical activity and sedentary behavior were measured using the smartphone's built-in accelerometer and daily self-report measures.Mixed-effects models indicated that, over the 8-week period, the social app users showed significantly greater overall increases in weekly accelerometry-derived moderate to vigorous physical activity relative to the other three arms (P values for between-arm differences = .04-.005; Social vs. Control app: d = 1.05, CI = 0.44,1.67; Social vs. Affect app: d = 0.89, CI = 0.27,1.51; Social vs. Analytic app: d = 0.89, CI = 0.27,1.51), while more variable responses were observed among users of the other two motivationally framed apps. Social app users also had significantly lower overall amounts of accelerometry-derived sedentary behavior relative to the other three arms (P values for between-arm differences = .02-.001; Social vs. Control app: d = 1.10,CI = 0.48,1.72; Social vs. Affect app: d = 0.94, CI = 0.32,1.56; Social vs. Analytic app: d = 1.24, CI = 0.59,1.89). Additionally, Social and Affect app users reported lower overall sitting time compared to the other two arms (P values for between-arm differences < .001; Social vs. Control app: d = 1.59,CI = 0.92, 2.25; Social vs. Analytic app: d = 1.89,CI = 1.17, 2.61; Affect vs. Control app: d = 1.19,CI = 0.56, 1.81; Affect vs. Analytic app: d = 1.41,CI = 0.74, 2.07).The results provide initial support for the use of a smartphone-delivered social frame in the early induction of both physical activity and sedentary behavior changes. The information obtained also sets the stage for further investigation of subgroups that might particularly benefit from different motivationally framed apps in these two key health promotion areas.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01516411.
Project description:Only a few digital interventions have been developed for pregnant smokers, and little is known about the acceptability and usability of smartphone apps to aid cessation in pregnancy. This study aimed to explore pregnant smokers' views on the design, content and usability of a pregnancy-specific smoking cessation app in order to inform intervention development and optimisation.Ten interviews were conducted and the 'think-aloud' protocol was used in order to explore participants' views about a smoking cessation smartphone app ('SmokeFree Baby'). The data were subsequently thematically analysed. Participants were 18 and over, pregnant, and daily or weekly cigarette smokers.Three main themes were identified: views about the design elements, mode of delivery and content of the intervention. App design was considered as an important element that might influence potential users' engagement with the intervention. Participants felt that the intervention content was educational, motivational and non-judgemental. However, it was emphasised that the app should provide further options for personalisation and include more practical features.Delivering smoking cessation support via a smartphone app can be feasible and acceptable for pregnant smokers. They appear to value content that is motivational, educational and personalised, and meeting these requirements may be important for user experience and promoting engagement with the intervention.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Tobacco use disorder is critical among people aged 16 to 25 years. College campuses are prime locations for smoking cessation interventions for young adults. The vast majority of the smoking research with college students has been epidemiological in nature. This study examined a novel motivational interviewing intervention designed for college students, and explored predictors of smoking behavior change. METHODS:A quasi-experimental one group pretest-posttest design with repeated measures was used to evaluate a novel text message-based brief motivational interviewing intervention. The data were collected from undergraduate students (N=33) who smoked cigarettes in Fall 2015. RESULTS:Students' level of autonomy and relatedness needs satisfaction, autonomous motivation, and smoking cessation self-efficacy increased (p < 0.05), and their rate of daily smoking declined (p <0 .05) over time. However, competence need satisfaction, readiness to quit smoking and severity of nicotine addiction remained unchanged. Smoking cessation self-efficacy was the strongest predictor of smoking behavior change in college students. CONCLUSIONS:This study adds to the knowledge on smoking behavior among college students. Preliminary evidence indicates that text message-based motivational interviewing and smoking cessation self-efficacy may help guide successful smoking behavior interventions for college students.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Down Your Drink (DYD) is a widely used unguided web-based alcohol moderation program for the general public based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and motivational interviewing (MI); it provides users with many opportunities to enter free-text responses. OBJECTIVE:The aim of this study was to assess participants' use of key CBT and MI components, the presence of change talk and sustain talk within their responses, and whether these data are associated with drinking outcomes after 3 months. METHODS:An exploratory secondary data analysis was conducted on data collected in 2008 from the definitive randomized trial of DYD (N=503). Past week alcohol use at baseline and 3-month follow-up were measured with the TOT-AL. Covariates included baseline alcohol use, age, gender, education level, and word count of the responses. Use of MI and CBT components and presence of change talk and sustain talk were coded by two independent coders (Cohen ? range 0.91-1). Linear model regressions on the subsample of active users (n=410) are presented along with a negative binomial regression. RESULTS:The most commonly used component was the listing of pros and cons of drinking. The number of listed high-risk situations was associated with lower alcohol use at 3-month follow-up (Badj -2.15, 95% CI -3.92 to -0.38, P=.02). Findings on the effects of the percentage of change talk and the number of listed strategies to deal with high-risk situations were inconsistent. CONCLUSIONS:An unguided web-based alcohol moderation program can elicit change talk and sustain talk. This secondary analysis suggests that the number of listed high-risk situations can predict alcohol use at 3-month follow-up. Other components show inconsistent findings and should be studied further.
Project description:Veterinarians often give advice in a persuasive form, a style that has been shown to evoke resistance to change in clients experiencing psychological ambivalence (i.e. those who see both advantages and disadvantages to changing). With this style of communication, veterinarians run the risk of counteracting their purpose to encourage clients to follow recommendations. Motivational interviewing (MI) is a client-centered communication methodology that aims to facilitate clients' internal motivation to change. In MI, Change Talk represents clients' own statements expressing consideration of, motivation for or commitment to behavior change and has been shown to be strongly correlated with behavior change. Sustain Talk is corresponding statements related to maintaining the status quo. The aim of this exploratory study was to evaluate the potential of MI to facilitate behavior change in veterinary herd health management (VHHM) by investigating the effect of dairy cattle veterinarians' MI skills on client Change and Sustain Talk. We recorded VHHM consultancies on 170 Swedish cattle farms performed by 36 veterinarians, randomly distributed into 2 groups: MI veterinarians (n = 18) had received 6-month training in MI and control veterinarians (n = 18) had not received any training. Veterinarians' MI skills were assessed using the Motivational Interviewing Treatment Integrity coding system 4.2.1 and categorized as poor_untrained, poor_trained, near moderate and moderate. Client communication was coded using the Client Language Easy Rating coding system. The effect of MI skills on Change Talk, Sustain Talk and Proportion of Change Talk(Change Talk divided by the sum of Sustain Talk plus Change Talk) was investigated using cross-classified regression models with random intercepts for veterinarian and client (farm). The models also included additional explanatory variables (e.g. type of veterinarian and client's satisfaction with the consultation). The veterinarian's MI skills were associated with the client's Change Talk, but results regarding Sustain Talk or Proportion of Change Talk were inconclusive. Clients of veterinarians reaching the highest (i.e. moderate) MI skills expressed 1.5 times more Change Talk than clients of untrained veterinarians. Clients of general large animal practitioners expressed less Sustain Talk than clients of animal health veterinarians and had higher Proportion of Change Talk. Results indicate that learning to practice MI may be one means to improve adherence to veterinary recommendations and to improve efficiency in VHHM services.
Project description:<label>BACKGROUND</label>Morbidity arising from unprepared bereavement is a problem that affects close personal relations of individuals at the end-of-life. The bereavement studies literature demonstrates that a lack of preparedness for a loved one's death is a risk factor for secondary psychological morbidity among survivors. Short awareness time of death negatively correlates to preparedness for bereavement. The absence of disclosure of end-of-life diagnosis and prognosis to close personal relations ('death talk') between patients and loved ones, or health professionals and loved ones, may contribute to short awareness time of death. To increase awareness time of death, we might attempt to increase patient first-personal disclosure of end-of-life diagnosis and prognosis to loved-ones, and/or patient consent to health professional disclosure of the same.<label>MAIN TEXT</label>Interventions based on motivational interviewing in end-of-life care whose aim is to facilitate death talk, either by the patient directly, or by a health professional with the patient's consent, may offer a part solution to the problem of unprepared bereavement. This paper evaluates the ethical permissibility of such interventions. We consider two ethical objections to using motivational interviewing in this way: first, that it is inappropriate for practitioners to seek disclosure as an outcome in this setting; second, that aiming at disclosure risks manipulating individuals into death talk. While it need not be impermissible to direct individuals toward disclosure of end-of-life diagnosis/prognosis, the objection from manipulation implies that it is pro tanto ethically preferable to use motivational interviewing in a non-directive mode in death talk conversations. However, insofar as non-directive motivational interviewing requires more advanced skills, and thus may be more difficult to learn and to practise, we advance that it may be ethically permissible, all things considered, to employ directional, or specific outcome-oriented, motivational interviewing.<label>CONCLUSION</label>Motivational interviewing interventions in end-of-life care whose aim is to facilitate death talk, either by the patient directly, or by a health professional with the patient's consent may be ethically permissible, all things considered.