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Mobile phone app aimed at improving iron intake and bioavailability in premenopausal women: a qualitative evaluation

Mann, Davina, Riddell, Lynn, Lim, Karen, Byrne, Linda K., Nowson, Caryl, Rigo, Manuela, Szymlek-Gay, Ewa A. and Booth, Alison O. 2015, Mobile phone app aimed at improving iron intake and bioavailability in premenopausal women: a qualitative evaluation, JMIR mHealth and uHealth, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 1-12, doi: 10.2196/mhealth.4300.

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Title Mobile phone app aimed at improving iron intake and bioavailability in premenopausal women: a qualitative evaluation
Author(s) Mann, Davina
Riddell, Lynn
Lim, Karen
Byrne, Linda K.
Nowson, Caryl
Rigo, Manuela
Szymlek-Gay, Ewa A.
Booth, Alison O.
Journal name JMIR mHealth and uHealth
Volume number 3
Issue number 3
Start page 1
End page 12
Total pages 12
Publisher JMIR Publications
Place of publication Toronto, Ont.
Publication date 2015
ISSN 2291-5222
Keyword(s) behavior therapy
cell phones
focus groups
goals
iron
mobile apps
telemedicine
Summary BACKGROUND: Low iron intake can lead to iron deficiency, which can result in impaired health and iron-deficiency anemia. A mobile phone app, combining successful dietary strategies to increase bioavailable iron with strategies for behavior change, such as goal setting, monitoring, feedback, and resources for knowledge acquisition, was developed with the aim to increase bioavailable iron intake in premenopausal women.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the content, usability, and acceptability of a mobile phone app designed to improve intake of bioavailable dietary iron.

METHODS: Women aged 18-50 years with an Android mobile phone were invited to participate. Over a 2-week period women were asked to interact with the app. Following this period, semistructured focus groups with participants were conducted. Focus groups were audio recorded and analyzed via an inductive open-coding method using the qualitative analysis software NVivo 10. Themes were identified and frequency of code occurrence was calculated.

RESULTS: Four focus groups (n=26) were conducted (age range 19-36 years, mean 24.7, SD 5.2). Two themes about the app's functionality were identified (frequency of occurrence in brackets): interface and design (134) and usability (86). Four themes about the app's components were identified: goal tracker (121), facts (78), photo diary (40), and games (46). A number of suggestions to improve the interface and design of the app were provided and will inform the ongoing development of the app.

CONCLUSIONS: This research indicates that participants are interested in iron and their health and are willing to use an app utilizing behavior change strategies to increase intake of bioavailable iron. The inclusion of information about the link between diet and health, monitoring and tracking of the achievement of dietary goals, and weekly reviews of goals were also seen as valuable components of the app and should be considered in mobile health apps aimed at adult women.
Language eng
DOI 10.2196/mhealth.4300
Field of Research 111104 Public Nutrition Intervention
Socio Economic Objective 920411 Nutrition
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30079354

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.