The Effects of a Digital Well-Being Intervention on Patients With Chronic Conditions: Observational Study
AuthorParks, AC; Williams, AL; Kackloudis, GM; Stafford, JL; Boucher, EM; Honomichl, RD
Source TitleJournal of Medical Internet Research
PublisherJMIR PUBLICATIONS, INC
University of Melbourne Author/sParks, Acacia
AffiliationMelbourne Graduate School of Education
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsParks, A. C., Williams, A. L., Kackloudis, G. M., Stafford, J. L., Boucher, E. M. & Honomichl, R. D. (2020). The Effects of a Digital Well-Being Intervention on Patients With Chronic Conditions: Observational Study. JOURNAL OF MEDICAL INTERNET RESEARCH, 22 (1), https://doi.org/10.2196/16211.
Access StatusOpen Access
BACKGROUND: Chronic conditions account for 75% of health care costs, and the impact of chronic illness is expected to grow over time. Although subjective well-being predicts better health outcomes, people with chronic conditions tend to report lower well-being. Improving well-being might mitigate costs associated with chronic illness; however, existing interventions can be difficult to access and draw from a single theoretical approach. Happify, a digital well-being intervention program drawing from multiple theoretical traditions to target well-being, has already been established as an efficacious means of improving well-being in both distressed and nondistressed users. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to compare change in well-being over time after using Happify for users with and without a chronic condition. METHODS: Data were obtained from Happify users, a publicly available digital well-being program accessible via website or mobile phone app. Users work on tracks addressing a specific issue (eg, conquering negative thoughts) composed of games and activities based on positive psychology, cognitive behavioral therapy, and mindfulness principles. The sample included 821 users receiving at least 6 weeks' exposure to Happify (ranging from 42 to 179 days) who met other inclusion criteria. As part of a baseline questionnaire, respondents reported demographic information (age and gender) and whether they had any of the prespecified chronic conditions: arthritis, diabetes, insomnia, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, psoriasis, eczema, or some other condition (450 reported a chronic condition, whereas 371 did not). Subjective well-being was assessed with the Happify Scale, a 9-item measure of positive emotionality and life satisfaction. To evaluate changes in well-being over time, a mixed effects linear regression model was fit for subjective well-being, controlling for demographics and platform usage. RESULTS: At baseline, users with a chronic condition had significantly lower subjective well-being (mean 38.34, SD 17.40) than users without a chronic condition (mean 43.65, SD 19.13). However, change trajectories for users with or without a chronic condition were not significantly different; both groups experienced equivalent improvements in well-being. We also found an effect for time from baseline (b=0.071; SE=0.010; P<.01) and number of activities completed (b=0.03; SE=0.009; P<.01), and a 2-way interaction between number of activities completed and time from baseline (b=0.0002; SE=0.00006; P<.01), such that completing more activities and doing so over increasingly longer periods produced improved well-being scores. CONCLUSIONS: Data from this study support the conclusion that users with a chronic condition experienced significant improvement over time. Despite reporting lower subjective well-being on the whole, their change trajectory while using Happify was equivalent to those without a chronic condition. Consistent with past research, users who completed more activities over a longer period showed the most improvement. In short, the presence of a chronic condition did not prevent users from showing improved well-being when using Happify.
- Click on "Export Reference in RIS Format" and choose "open with... Endnote".
- Click on "Export Reference in RIS Format". Login to Refworks, go to References => Import References