University of Oulu

Towards tailored mobile mental wellness training programs : a case study of the effects of health complaints

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Author: Koistinen, Kati1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Department of Information Processing Science, Information Processing Science
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.5 MB)
Pages: 88
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : K. Koistinen, 2014
Publish Date: 2014-09-01
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Oinas-Kukkonen, Harri
Reviewer: Oinas-Kukkonen, Harri
Immonen, Milla
Background: Neck problems, tiredness, depression and other mental health problems are nowadays very common. Many people have difficulties addressing their health problems because they don’t have the motivation or ability to change their attitudes and behaviours. It would be important to offer them help and tools so that they would be able to take care of themselves better and improve their well-being. All sorts of technical equipment such as PC’s, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones have become part of people’s everyday life. There is a lot of potential to use these different technical devices as a tool for providing personal wellbeing programs and applications. These include games, social media and personal health applications. The Aim of the Study: The aim of this thesis is to study if tailoring a general mobile mental wellness training application for stress management is possible and how it could be done to meet the needs of people who suffer from certain kinds of complaints. It was proposed that if the mobile mental wellness training program would be tailored to offer help for a certain complaint that a person suffers, it would improve user experience and person’s wellbeing. Methods: This research was an empirical case study. Theoretical part of this study provides a review of articles and other relevant literature. Empirical part of this study consisted of a large questionnaire conducted for the students and employees of the University of Oulu (N=756) as well as user studies conducted for a smaller number of people (N=30) selected based on certain criteria. The user study participants were divided into three different groups according to their complaints: tiredness, depression, and neck problems group. These three complaints were top three according to the results of the background questionnaire. The user study consisted of a user experience study made in laboratory settings as well as a field trial period where the participants used the application independently and their actions were logged. The users were guided to use exercises that were expected to help them with their complaints. User tests were video recorded to prevent data loss. Findings: The results showed that there weren’t big differences in user experience of the application between different complaint groups. User experience of the application was seen quite positive, but some issues made usage unpleasant, e.g. the application was mentioned being boring. Use of the application did not have an effect on people’s wellbeing. However the two-week long test period did not seem to be long enough. On the other hand, results also showed that people usually suffer from many different complaints at the same time so it is not easy to set people under certain complaint group and tailor health application very specifically for one complaint at time.
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Copyright information: © Kati Koistinen, 2014. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.