Journal of the Association for Information Systems


It has been suggested that the mobile health (mHealth) channel is effective in assisting with chronic disease management. However, little is known about the mHealth channel preferences of consumers who may be vulnerable to chronic disease. Integrating the lens of approach-avoidance beliefs with regulatory focus theory, we: (1) focus on mHealth channel preference (CHANNEL) as our dependent variable, (2) identify perceived mHealth usefulness (PU) as an approach belief and perceived mHealth risk (RISK) as an avoidance belief, and (3) develop hypotheses pertaining to the how the regulatory focus of the individual (operationalized as perceived vulnerability to chronic disease, i.e., VULN) moderates the impacts of PU and RISK on CHANNEL. Based on analyses using structural equation modeling of survey data collected from 954 individuals in the US, we find that, compared to a promotion regulatory focus (low VULN), a prevention regulatory focus (high VULN) amplifies the effect of RISK on CHANNEL and suppresses the effect of PU on CHANNEL. We discuss the implications of our findings for theory, practice, and future research related to mHealth channel preferences.