Adoption of the Website and Mobile App of a Preventive Health Program Across Neighborhoods With Different Socioeconomic Conditions in the Netherlands: Longitudinal Study

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Abstract

Background: Socioeconomic disparities in the adoption of preventive health programs represent a well-known challenge, with programs delivered via the web serving as a potential solution. The preventive health program examined in this study is a large-scale, open-access web-based platform operating in the Netherlands, which aims to improve the health behaviors and wellness of its participants. Objective: This study aims to examine the differences in the adoption of the website and mobile app of a web-based preventive health program across socioeconomic groups. Methods: The 83,466 participants in this longitudinal, nonexperimental study were individuals who had signed up for the health program between July 2012 and September 2019. The rate of program adoption per delivery means was estimated using the Prentice, Williams, and Peterson Gap-Time model, with the measure of neighborhood socioeconomic status (NSES) used to distinguish between population segments with different socioeconomic characteristics. Registration to the health program was voluntary and free, and not within a controlled study setting, allowing the observation of the true rate of adoption. Results: The estimation results indicate that program adoption across socioeconomic groups varies depending on the program's delivery means. For the website, higher NSES groups have a higher likelihood of program adoption compared with the lowest NSES group (hazard ratio 1.03, 95% CI 1.01-1.05). For the mobile app, the opposite holds: higher NSES groups have a lower likelihood of program adoption compared with the lowest NSES group (hazard ratio 0.94, 95% CI 0.91-0.97). Conclusions: Promoting preventive health programs using mobile apps can help to increase program adoption among the lowest socioeconomic segments. Given the increasing use of mobile phones among disadvantaged population groups, structuring future health interventions to include mobile apps as means of delivery can support the stride toward diminishing health disparities.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere32112
JournalJMIR Human Factors
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2-Feb-2022

Keywords

  • EHealth
  • Health disparities
  • Internet
  • MHealth
  • Mobile app
  • Mobile health
  • NSES
  • Preventive health program
  • Program adoption
  • Survival analysis

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