Preventive health program adoption, engagement, and effectiveness

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

79 Downloads (Pure)


The increasing healthcare costs have become a pressing issue, with much of these costs being associated with the treatment of non-communicable diseases. These diseases are driven by risk factors that are preventable in nature, which can be addressed with such interventions as health programs. Online health programs offer accessible and cost-effective solutions, but challenges impeding their large scale implementation include reaching the right audience, maintaining participant engagement, and measuring their impact on individual health – topics which this thesis addresses. Comparing between the website and mobile app delivery of a health program, the analysis in this thesis shows that promoting preventive health programs using mobile apps can help to increase program adoption among the population groups with the lowest socioeconomic conditions. Examining the ability of email prompts to increase participant engagement while in the program reveals small to moderate improvements following receiving and opening an email, with most potential associated with emails that are in line with the program’s goals. Measuring the health program’s effectiveness reveals a significant reduction in healthcare costs among the app users after two years of participation. Further healthcare costs savings are associated with increased program usage, where frequency is estimated to have a more powerful impact than intensity. These findings highlight the potential of online health programs to reach diverse population segments, having the ability to improve individual health outcomes and ultimately contribute to the sustainability of future healthcare systems.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • van Ittersum, Koert, Supervisor
  • Bijmolt, Tammo, Supervisor
  • Mierau, Jochen, Supervisor
Award date8-Jul-2024
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Publication statusPublished - 2024


Dive into the research topics of 'Preventive health program adoption, engagement, and effectiveness'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this