Abstract

There is increasing interest within the mobile health (mHealth) field for technologies that encourage users to change or avoid certain health related behaviours. Recently the area of illicit substance use has attracted the attention of mHealth researchers, particularly as illicit substance use among students in higher education appears to be increasing. Little analysis has been conducted on the design strategies used to develop these interventions and the user experience they deliver. With concern growing about the capacity of mHealth interventions to engage users in real world settings, we undertook a systematic review of the implementation and reporting of user-centred design (UCD) practices in the development of illicit substance use behavioural interventions in the higher education context (n=7). Our review revealed limited consideration of end user experience and minimal engagement with UCD practices. We argue that these studies do not give sufficient consideration to factors that would have a significant influence their effectiveness and sustainability in normal use conditions. We further propose a framework of guidelines for the design and reporting of mHealth interventions (SCENE) that will underpin more robust methodologies for developing, evaluating, and reporting intervention strategies in this context.

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