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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727

Abstract

CARRION, Carme et al. Use of the Smartphone to Promote Healthy Habits among Teen-agers, Spain. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2016, vol.90, e40022.  Epub Nov 03, 2016. ISSN 2173-9110.

Background:

The PEGASO Project aims to design a technological system aimed at European adolescents to promote healthy lifestyles. The objective was to explore teenagers and their parents and teachers perceptions with regards to mobile technology use in promoting a healthier lifestyle, in terms of food and physical activity.

Methods:

Qualitative study based on primary data obtained through four focus groups analysis (three teenager groups between 13 and 15 y and 1 parent/teacher group). Verbatim transcriptions have been analysed following content analysis perspective.

Results:

Four different categories were identified: 1: social and cultural context, 2: adolescents and health, 3: role of technology in teenagers' lives and 4: use of technology to acquire healthier habits. Each category helped to arise various subcategories linked to the relation between teens and health: holistic health concept, health/disease perception directly related with feeling physically fit and social acceptance. With regards to technology, the arisen themes were: feeling connected with others, importance of entertainment/games, omnipresent use of Smartphones and risk of excessive dependence on technology. The difference between teens and adults with regards to health and technology categories were not significant.

Conclusions:

Both teens and adults think that for technology to be effective in acquiring healthier habits it has to help teens to improve and maintain their self-esteem, in an entertaining way and using their own communication codes, mainly audio-visual ones, always under the umbrella of a holistic and integrated perception of health.

Keywords : Habits; Adolescent behavior; Telephone; mobile; Technology; Mobile health; eHealth; mHealth; Health promotion; Education; distance; Qualitative research; Spain.

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