Systematic and Iterative Development of a Smartphone App to Promote Sun-Protection Among Holidaymakers: Design of a Prototype and Results of Usability and Acceptability Testing

Rodrigues, Angela, Sniehotta, Falko, Birch-Machin, Mark, Olivier, Patrick and Araújo-Soares, Vera (2017) Systematic and Iterative Development of a Smartphone App to Promote Sun-Protection Among Holidaymakers: Design of a Prototype and Results of Usability and Acceptability Testing. JMIR Research Protocols, 6 (6). e112. ISSN 1929-0748

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.2196/resprot.7172

Abstract

Background: Sunburn and intermittent exposure to ultraviolet rays are risk factors for melanoma. Sunburn is a common experience during holidays, making tourism settings of particular interest for skin cancer prevention. Holidaymakers are a volatile populations found at different locations, which may make them difficult to reach. Given the widespread use of smartphones, evidence suggests that this might be a novel, convenient, scalable, and feasible way of reaching the target population.

Objective: The main objective of this study was to describe and appraise the process of systematically developing a smartphone intervention (mISkin app) to promote sun-protection during holidays.

Methods: The iterative development process of the mISkin app was conducted over four sequential stages: (1) identify evidence on the most effective behavior change techniques (BCTs) used (active ingredients) as well as theoretical predictors and theories, (2) evidence-based intervention design, (3) co-design with users of the mISkin app prototype, and (4) refinement of the app. Each stage provided key findings that were subsequently used to inform the design of the mISkin app.

Results: The sequential approach to development integrates different strands of evidence to inform the design of an evidence-based intervention. A systematic review on previously tested interventions to promote sun-protection provided cues and constraints for the design of this intervention. The development and design of the mISkin app also incorporated other sources of information, such as other literature reviews and experts’ consultations. The developed prototype of the mISkin app was evaluated by engaging potential holidaymakers in the refinement and further development of the mISkin app through usability (ease-of-use) and acceptability testing of the intervention prototype. All 17 participants were satisfied with the mISkin prototype and expressed willingness to use it. Feedback on the app was integrated in the optimization process of the mISkin app.

Conclusions: The mISkin app was designed to promote sun-protection among holidaymakers and was based on current evidence, experts’ knowledge and experience, and user involvement. Based on user feedback, the app has been refined and a fully functional version is ready for formal testing in a feasibility pilot study.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: sun-protection; sunburn; sunscreening agents; sunbathing; health behavior; health promotion; formative research; intervention
Subjects: C800 Psychology
G400 Computer Science
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2018 08:53
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2019 11:36
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/35592

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