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A Focus Group Study Observing Maternal Intention to Use a WIC Education App

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Objective

In this study, we sought to determine technology acceptance of a mobile application (app) to facilitate healthy behaviors as perceived by English- and Spanish-speaking participants of the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

Methods

Our sample was 48 mothers (78% Hispanic-American) at WIC clinics in south-central Texas. Through 6 focus groups, we explored user intention of a wireframe app prototype. Discussion probes were based on the construct of behavioral intention. We used qualitative analysis software to organize theme identification and description.

Results

Participants were more willing to use an app if it was easy to navigate and included features that addressed specific challenges for WIC health behaviors. Emergent themes thought to facilitate app use included preferences seen between languages and habit. English-speakers were more likely to use an app if it was entertaining and customizable. Spanish-speakers put a high priority on app functionality. WIC participants placed high priority on the app’s ability to help manage family health behaviors and expressed trust for information provided by WIC.

Conclusion

Apps are a feasible approach to modernize WIC breastfeeding and nutrition education. English- and Spanish-speakers have both similar and different priorities with app use and should be considered in future app development.
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Keywords: Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children (WIC); breastfeeding; health education; mobile apps; nutrition

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 November 2018

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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