WhatsApp Peer Coaching Lessons for eHealth

WhatsApp was evaluated as a peer coach group support tool in a healthy lifestyle intervention with 15 young professionals. These individuals were time-constrained professionals, so two design challenges were to create enough attractiveness and quality in the peer group interactions. There were three main health domains: food, physical activity, and mental energy. As a result of the 12 week pilot, there were 127 WhatsApp peer coaching inputs. The variety of inputs was better than in a previous pilot; peer coaching quality improved; plus there was more continuity following the initial two weeks. Community building remained a challenge, especially in the longer run. Two design solutions seemed to work: pre-designed coach-inputs across health domains, plus the instructions for a health advocate from the group, per health domain. Based on the results, the authors hypothesize that user needs in the first five weeks …

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