Young people’s health literacy and the uptake of an NHS app: a quantitative study of users.

Ally Memon, Emma Russell, Amy Lloyd-Houldey, Joanna Yarker

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


PURPOSE: Young-people are increasingly using apps to source information about health. The purpose of the study to examine how the use of a new clinically approved NHS app by young people enabled them to access high quality health information and whether if it had a positive impact on their health behavior.
DESIGN: Using the Integrated Behavioural Model and Theory of Planned Behaviour, along with using an online survey tool (Qualtrics) with adapted established scales, a survey was carried using a sample of 137 participants. Measuring ‘intention to act’ as an effect of using the app was used as a means of predicting future behaviour change with multiple regression analysis applied.
RESULTS: Based on survey results and using frequency analyses to address two research questions, the study established that the majority of participants had increased their knowledge base and had high levels of trust in the information they had received. The study found that, (i) higher levels of trust in the app, (ii) feeling informed by the app, and (iii) believing that it will be difficult to have control over their health behaviour, all predicted a stronger likelihood of enacting positive health behaviours (Intention to Act). We establish that having greater trust in the app is likely to facilitate a positive relationship between attitudes towards behaviour change and intention to act.
LIMITATIONS: Strict causality could be established given the use of a cross-sectional design and a restrictive sample size. Future longitudinal studies are recommended to establish better causation. IMPLICATIONS: Based on an examination of what are strong predictors of intentions to act and subsequent future behaviour change, it is likely that such a health app can make a positive difference to people’s health behaviours. Particularly, in that young people will act on the information engaged with in a way likely to improve/support positive health behaviours.
ORIGINALITY/VALUE: This is a unique quantitative study to demonstrate how the use of a free public health app when actively adopted by young people can optimize health literacy behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event19th Congress of the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology: Working for the greater good - Turin, Italy
Duration: 29 May 20191 Jun 2019
Conference number: 19


Conference19th Congress of the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology
Abbreviated titleEAWOP
Internet address


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