Co-presence in gamified mhealth contexts
MetadataShow full item record
This paper presents a study of gamified mobile health applications that allow users in web and physical environments to share their real-time physical activities, to communicate over various channels, and to jointly navigate around a shared communication space. Grounded in the concept of co-presence--an individual’s subjective sense of being together with others social entities (either competitors or cooperators) in a digitally or physically shared space--, the current study aims to explore 1) how mobile-mediated communication conditions affect the level of co-presence and 2) how different types and varying levels of the experienced co-presence are related to health outcomes in terms of perceived social support, exercise self-efficacy, and exercise adherence. The study employed quantitative methods of data collection and analysis. The empirical examination focuses on users of mobile health application that are currently available in market. Online self-administered survey was distributed to a convenience sample of mobile health applications users. The collected data was analyzed through Pearson’s partial correlations. The associations among variables were elucidated by partial correlation coefficients. After controlling for socio-demographics and health-related behavior factors, the analysis of quantitative data indicated that perceived geographical proximity between social entities, pre-existing social relationships, and consistency of mobile-mediated information with the objective world were positively related to the degree to which the users experience all three types of co-presence. Furthermore, the results of partial correlation analysis showed that co-presence with cooperators was positively related to perceived social support and exercise adherence. However, none of relationship between co-presence with competitors and health outcomes was statistically significant. The present study discusses mobile-mediated communication conditions and their psychological effect on health outcomes in the contest of the gamified mHealth context. As the first scholarly effort to explore co-presence in mobile health contexts that taking a user-centric approach, the study shows the promises of various utilization of advanced mobile technologies in increasing user values, which consequently drives users to perform active roles in their healthy behaviors in everyday life context.