A Qualitative Exploration of Desired mHealth App Mechanisms Related to Daily Life Influences for College Nursing Students Original Research

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Scott Sittig
Caitlyn Hauff
Susan G. Williams
Rebecca J Graves
Sharon Fruh


Mobile Health, Nursing, Informatics


Introduction: Mobile health (mHealth) apps are digital health tools that allow for the delivery and access to vital health information, support, and encouragement needed to foster positive behavior change. Designing and developing mHealth solutions based on daily life influences for nursing students is imperative to establishing healthier physical and mental health habits.   

Methods: Multiple focus groups (n=10) were conducted, and a questionnaire (n=11) was administered to undergraduate students in the professional nursing component. Themed analysis of focus-group data was conducted along with descriptive analysis of the questionnaire.

Results: All participants stated it has been more difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle since beginning the nursing program. This deterioration can be attributed to three key areas: mental health needs/support, rigor of nursing school, and decline in positive health choices. Participants stated they would use an mHealth app designed specifically for nursing students to combat deterioration of their health.

Conclusions: The results of this study (100% positive response rate) reveal mHealth applications might be a powerful tool in helping nursing students transform their physical and mental health. It appears that if an mHealth application is created with the specific “must-haves” of nursing students then we might experience a positive shift in health behaviors for nursing students, which will hopefully transcend into their careers as nurses.

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