AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 19, Supplement 2, pp 81–89 | Cite as

mHealth Technology as a Persuasive Tool for Treatment, Care and Management of Persons Living with HIV

  • Rebecca Schnall
  • Suzanne Bakken
  • Marlene Rojas
  • Jasmine Travers
  • Alex Carballo-Dieguez
Original Paper


Mobile health (mHealth) technology can be a valuable tool in the management of chronic illnesses, including HIV. Qualitative research methods were used to identify the desired content and features of a mobile app for meeting and improving the healthcare needs of persons living with HIV (PLWH). We conducted six focus group sessions with 50 English-or Spanish-speaking PLWH in New York City. To inform data analysis and to illustrate how mHealth technology can be used as a persuasive strategy for improving the health of PLWH, we integrated Fogg’s functional role triad for computing technology model with the self-determination theory to illustrate how mHealth technology can be used as a persuasive strategy for improving the health of PLWH. Participants suggested several tools for meeting their healthcare needs, including: reminders/alerts, lab results tracking, and notes on health status. mHealth technology can function as a social actor by providing chat boxes/forums, testimonials of lived experiences, and personal outreach. Examples of media that can be used as a persuasive technology include games/virtual rewards, coding of health tasks, and simulations on how to connect with PLWH. Findings from these focus groups can be used to design a mobile app for PLWH that is targeted to meet their healthcare needs.


HIV/AIDS Fogg’s functional role triad Self-determination theory Mobile health (mHealth) technology 



This publication was supported by a cooperative agreement between Columbia University School of Nursing and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC; 1U01PS00371501; PI: R Schnall). The authors would like to acknowledge Jocelyn Patterson Mosley, Monique Carry and Deborah Gelaude at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Prevention Research Branch, Atlanta, GA for their contributions to this project. The findings and conclusions in this report do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rebecca Schnall
    • 1
  • Suzanne Bakken
    • 2
  • Marlene Rojas
    • 1
  • Jasmine Travers
    • 1
  • Alex Carballo-Dieguez
    • 3
  1. 1.Columbia University School of NursingNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical Informatics and School of NursingColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, New York State Psychiatric InstituteColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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