Using mobile technology to improve bone-related lifestyle risk factors in young women with low bone mineral density: Feasibility randomized controlled trial

Asvini Kokila Subasinghe, Suzanne Marie Garland, Alexandra Gorelik, Ilona Tay, John Dennis Wark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Poor bone health in adolescent and young adult females is a growing concern. Given the widespread use of mobile phones in this population, mobile health (mHealth) interventions may help improve health behaviors related to bone health in young women. Objective: The goal of the study was to determine the acceptability and feasibility of an mHealth intervention called Tap4Bone in improving health behaviors associated with the risk of osteoporosis in young women. Methods: The Tap4Bone mHealth intervention comprised the use of mobile phone apps, short messaging service (text messaging), and Web emails to encourage health behavior changes. The education group received osteoporosis prevention education leaflets. Changes in the bone health–related behaviors exercise, smoking, and calcium intake were assessed. User experiences and acceptance of the app were collected through focus group interviews. Results: A total of 35 (22 completed, mean age 23.1 [SD 1.8] years) were randomized to either the mobile phone (intervention n=18) or education (control n=17) group. Although there were trends toward improvement in calcium intake, sports activity, and smoking behaviors in the mHealth intervention group compared to the education group, these were not statistically significant. Conclusions: The Tap4Bone mHealth intervention was shown to be acceptable and feasible in subsets of the participants. The intervention should be improved upon using participant feedback to improve functionality. Findings from this study may aid in the development and modification of health care apps to reduce participant attrition.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere9435
Number of pages9
JournalJMIR Formative Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2019


  • Behavior therapy methods
  • Health behavior
  • Mobile phones
  • Primary prevention methods
  • Self-care methods

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