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WhatsApp Peer Coaching Lessons for eHealth

WhatsApp Peer Coaching Lessons for eHealth
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Author(s): Luuk Simons (Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands), Wouter A. C. van den Heuvel (Health Coach Program, The Netherlands) and Catholijn M. Jonker (Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands)
Copyright: 2020
Pages: 17
Source title: Handbook of Research on Optimizing Healthcare Management Techniques
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Nilmini Wickramasinghe (Swinburne University of Technology, Australia & Epworth HealthCare, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1371-2.ch002

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Abstract

WhatsApp was evaluated as a peer coach group support tool in a healthy lifestyle intervention with 15 young professionals. These individuals were time-constrained professionals, so two design challenges were to create enough attractiveness and quality in the peer group interactions. There were three main health domains: food, physical activity, and mental energy. As a result of the 12 week pilot, there were 127 WhatsApp peer coaching inputs. The variety of inputs was better than in a previous pilot; peer coaching quality improved; plus there was more continuity following the initial two weeks. Community building remained a challenge, especially in the longer run. Two design solutions seemed to work: pre-designed coach-inputs across health domains, plus the instructions for a health advocate from the group, per health domain. Based on the results, the authors hypothesize that user needs in the first five weeks were well supported but that user support needs seemed to change after the initial five weeks, which impacted the perceived added value from the WhatsApp group.

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