Understanding the User Experience and Emotional Involvement during eHealth Interventions: A Randomized Controlled Trial of ASPIRE
Khalil, Georges E.
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Evaluations of eHealth interventions rarely consider concepts of media effect, and their theoretical models often focus on cognitive variables alone, overlooking the role of emotions. This dissertation aims to propose and test a conceptual framework that explicates the transition from user experience to health outcomes with emotional involvement as a central concept. Specifically, ASPIRE is a web-based eHealth program designed with interactivity and entertainment characteristics to lower adolescents' intention to smoke. A randomized controlled trial was conducted among 101 participants aged 12 through 18. Data were collected three days before and immediately after the intervention. In the treatment condition, participants engaged in the full version of ASPIRE. In the control condition, participants reviewed a text version of ASPIRE with the same health messages; and for ethical concerns, they were presented with a short version of ASPIRE one week later. In addition, 20 participants in each condition were randomly selected for an exit interview. Compared to the control condition, participants in the treatment condition were more likely to decrease their intention to smoke; perceived interactivity and perceived entertainment were both significantly related to the decrease in intention to smoke. Furthermore, the experience of ASPIRE involved a process that gradually moved participants from intervention exposure to health outcomes: The user experience of interactivity and entertainment allowed them to become emotionally involved in ASPIRE, carry such an emotional experience with them by delaying emotion regulation and become provoked to think further about the experience and its outcomes. Qualitative data corroborated the quantitative findings and uncovered additional insights. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.