J Med Internet Res. 2017 Jul 20;19(7):e261. doi: 10.2196/jmir.7474.
Adolescents' Perspectives on Personalized E-Feedback in the Context of Health Risk Behavior Screening for Primary Care: Qualitative Study.
Electronic health screening tools for primary care present an opportunity to go beyond data collection to provide education and feedback to adolescents in order to motivate behavior change. However, there is limited research to guide feedback message development.
The aim of this study was to explore youth perceptions of and preferences for receiving personalized feedback for multiple health risk behaviors and reinforcement for health promoting behaviors from an electronic health screening tool for primary care settings, using qualitative methodology.
In total, 31 adolescents aged 13-18 years completed the screening tool, received the electronic feedback, and subsequently participated in individual, semistructured, qualitative interviews lasting approximately 60 min. Participants were queried about their overall impressions of the tool, perceptions regarding various types of feedback messages, and additional features that would help motivate health behavior change. Using thematic analysis, interview transcripts were coded to identify common themes expressed across participants.
Overall, the tool was well-received by participants who perceived it as a way to enhance-but not replace-their interactions with providers. They appreciated receiving nonjudgmental feedback from the tool and responded positively to information regarding the consequences of behaviors, comparisons with peer norms and health guidelines, tips for behavior change, and reinforcement of healthy choices. A small but noteworthy minority of participants dismissed the peer norms as not real or relevant and national guidelines as not valid or reasonable. When prompted for possible adaptations to the tool, adolescents expressed interest in receiving follow-up information, setting health-related goals, tracking their behaviors over time, and communicating with providers electronically between appointments.
Adolescents in this qualitative study desired feedback that validates their healthy behavior choices and supports them as independent decision makers by neutrally presenting health information, facilitating goal setting, and offering ongoing technological supports.
©Garret G Zieve, Laura P Richardson, Katherine Katzman, Heather Spielvogle, Sandy Whitehouse, Carolyn A McCarty. Originally published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (http://www.jmir.org), 20.07.2017.
adolescent; health behavior; motivation; primary health care; qualitative research; screening; software; technology