3d International ICST Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare

Research Article

Persuasion not required Improving our understanding of the sociotechnical context of dietary behavioural change

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  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.4108/ICST.PERVASIVEHEALTH2009.5928,
        author={Julie Maitland and Matthew Chalmers and Katie A. Siek},
        title={Persuasion not required Improving our understanding of the sociotechnical context of dietary behavioural change},
        proceedings={3d International ICST Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare},
        proceedings_a={PERVASIVEHEALTH},
        year={2009},
        month={8},
        keywords={underserved low-income caregivers health behaviours diet nutrition barriers assistive technology family},
        doi={10.4108/ICST.PERVASIVEHEALTH2009.5928}
    }
    
  • Julie Maitland
    Matthew Chalmers
    Katie A. Siek
    Year: 2009
    Persuasion not required Improving our understanding of the sociotechnical context of dietary behavioural change
    PERVASIVEHEALTH
    ICST
    DOI: 10.4108/ICST.PERVASIVEHEALTH2009.5928
Julie Maitland1,*, Matthew Chalmers1,*, Katie A. Siek2,*
  • 1: Department of Computer Science, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
  • 2: Department of Computer Science, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO USA
*Contact email: jules@dcs.gla.ac.uk, matthew@dcs.gla.ac.uk, katie.a.siek@cs.colorado.edu

Abstract

In view of the well-acknowledged inequalities in health between the rich and the poor, populations of low socioeconomic status stand to benefit most from advances in technology designed to promote health- related behavioural change. In this paper we investigate attitudes towards diet and the perceived barriers to making positive changes from the perspective of the primary caregivers of seventeen families with low socioeconomic status. Participants were aware of the weaknesses their family's dietary habits and were motivated to make changes, but lacked financial, strategic, and social resources needed to do so. Based on our analysis, the current trend of raising awareness and motivation to change does not appear to address the needs of this population. We call for research to investigate systems that address existing gaps in health-related communication and empower people to take practical steps towards achieving realistic goals; matching any attempt to motivate change with an attempt to facilitate change.