eHealth WhatsApp for social support: design lessons
by Luuk P.A. Simons; Wouter A.C. Van Den Heuvel; Catholijn M. Jonker
International Journal of Networking and Virtual Organisations (IJNVO), Vol. 23, No. 2, 2020

Abstract: WhatsApp was evaluated as group support tool for a high impact healthy lifestyle intervention, with 11 young professionals. Users valued the WhatsApp group as an attractive social support addition to the existing eTools and personal coaching. Based on preliminary results: 1) the WhatsApp group generated higher participation than most other social media; 2) deploying social media use motives; 3) possibly due to the relatively high 'presence' and 'engagement' attributes of WhatsApp; 4) contributing to healthy behaviours and health advocacy. Peer coaching was confirmed as promising. However, participation declined after the initial weeks. A design lesson was that users wanted more support for community forming. Several improvement suggestions are provided.

Online publication date: Wed, 05-Aug-2020

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