Barriers and facilitators to the use of an immunization application: a qualitative study supplemented with Google Analytics data

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Abstract

Background

Barriers and facilitators of mobile app adoption are not known. This study examined usage of a new Pan-Canadian immunization app to identify factors that contributed to usage.

Methods

Women in their third trimester of pregnancy or had given birth in the previous 3 months were recruited from a hospital obstetrical unit. Fifty-five participants were instructed to download the ImmunizeCA app. After at least 6 months, 10 interviews were conducted, transcribed and coded. Themes identified were compared with aggregate ImmunizeCA usage data (n = 74 212 users).

Results

Facilitators included features that address logistical challenges, improved convenience and information access. Barriers included absence of system integration. Concerns regarding the privacy and security of personal health information were not an inhibitor as long as best practices are followed. Google Analytics data on usage supported qualitative findings.

Conclusion

Future studies should evaluate the quantitative impact of factors we identified on app uptake and usage. Subsequent mobile app studies may benefit from the use of analytic data as they were found to be effective in helping to validate qualitative data derived from interviews with study participants.

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