How to Prevent the Drop-Out: Understanding Why Adults Participate in Summative eHealth Evaluations

Marian Z.M. Hurmuz*, Stephanie M. Jansen-Kosterink, Lex van Velsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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The aim of this study was to investigate why adults participate in summative eHealth evaluations, and whether their reasons for participating affect their (non-)use of eHealth. A questionnaire was distributed among adults (aged ≥ 18 years) who participated in a summative eHealth evaluation. This questionnaire focused on participants’ reason to enroll, their expectations, and on whether the study met their expectations. Answers to open-ended questions were coded by two researchers independently. With the generalized estimating equations method we tested whether there is a difference between the type of reasons in use of the eHealth service. One hundred and thirty-one adults participated (64.9% female; mean age 62.5 years (SD = 10.5)). Their reasons for participating were mainly health-related (e.g., being more active). Between two types of motivations there was a difference in the use of the eHealth service: Participants with an intellectual motivation were more likely to drop out, compared to participants with an altruistic motivation. The most prevalent expectations when joining a summative eHealth evaluation were health-related (like expecting to improve one’s health). 38.6% of the participants said their expectation was fulfilled by the study. In conclusion, We encourage eHealth evaluators to learn about adults’ motivation to participate in their summative evaluation, as this motivation is very likely to affect their results. Including altruistically motivated participants biases the results by their tendency to continue participating in a study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-140
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Healthcare Informatics Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • eHealth
  • Participants
  • Research participation
  • Summative evaluation
  • Drop-out


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