Investigating Factors Affecting the Intention to Use Mobile Health from a Holistic Perspective: The Case of Small Cities in China

Zhu Fei, Md Kassim Normalini, Wan Normila Mohamad
Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge, and Management  •  Volume 18  •  2023  •  pp. 739-767

This study aims to develop a comprehensive conceptual framework that incorporates personal characteristics, social context, and technological features as significant factors that influence the intention of small-city users in China to use mobile health.

Mobile health has become an integral part of China’s health management system innovation, the transformation of the health service model, and a necessary government measure for promoting health service parity. However, mobile health has not yet been widely adopted in small cities in China.

The study utilized a quantitative approach whereby web-based questionnaires were used to collect data from 319 potential users in China using China’s health management system. The data was analyzed using the PLS-SEM (the partial least squares-structural equation modeling) approach.

This study integrates the protection motivation theory (PMT), which compensates for the limitations of the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology theory (UTAUT) and is a re-examination of PMT and UTAUT in a small city context in China.

The findings indicate that attitude and perceived vulnerability in the personal characteristic factors, social influence and facilitating conditions in the social context factors, and performance expectancy in the technological feature factors influence users’ intention to use mobile health in small cities in China.

This study provides feasible recommendations for mobile health service providers, medical institutions, and government agencies based on the empirical results.

As for health behavior, researchers should fully explain the intention of mobile health use in terms of holism and health behavior theory.

This study aims to increase users’ intention to use mobile health in small cities in China and to maximize the social value of mobile health.

Future research should concentrate on the actual usage behavior of users and simultaneously conduct a series of longitudinal studies, including studies on continued usage behavior, abandonment behavior, and abandoned-and-used behavior.

mobile health, small cities, PMT, UTAUT, personal characteristics
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