Psychometric Evaluation of the TWente Engagement with Ehealth Technologies Scale (TWEETS): Evaluation Study

Saskia Marion Kelders*, Hanneke Kip, Japie Greeff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Background: Engagement emerges as a predictor for the effectiveness of digital health interventions. However, a shared understanding of engagement is missing. Therefore, a new scale has been developed that proposes a clear definition and creates a tool to measure it. The TWente Engagement with Ehealth Technologies Scale (TWEETS) is based on a systematic review and interviews with engaged health app users. It defines engagement as a combination of behavior, cognition, and affect.Objective: This paper aims to evaluate the psychometric properties of the TWEETS. In addition, a comparison is made with the experiential part of the Digital Behavior Change Intervention Engagement Scale (DBCI-ES-Ex), a scale that showed some issues in previous psychometric analyses.
Methods: In this study, 288 participants were asked to use any step counter app on their smartphones for 2 weeks. They completed online questionnaires at 4 time points: T0=baseline, T1=after 1 day, T2=1 week, and T3=2 weeks. At T0, demographics and personality (conscientiousness and intellect/imagination) were assessed; at T1-T3, engagement, involvement, enjoyment, subjective usage, and perceived behavior change were included as measures that are theoretically related to our definition of engagement. Analyses focused on internal consistency, reliability, and the convergent, divergent, and predictive validity of both engagement scales. Convergent validity was assessed by correlating the engagement scales with involvement, enjoyment, and subjective usage; divergent validity was assessed by correlating the engagement scales with personality; and predictive validity was assessed by regression analyses using engagement to predict perceived behavior change at later time points.Results: The Cronbach alpha values of the TWEETS were .86, .86, and .87 on T1, T2, and T3, respectively. Exploratory factor analyses indicated that a 1-factor structure best fits the data. The TWEETS is moderately to strongly correlated with involvement and enjoyment (theoretically related to cognitive and affective engagement, respectively; P<.001). Correlations between the TWEETS and frequency of use were nonsignificant or small, and differences between adherers and nonadherers on the TWEETS were significant (P<.001). Correlations between personality and the TWEETS were nonsignificant. The TWEETS at T1 was predictive of perceived behavior change at T3, with an explained variance of 16%. The psychometric properties of the TWEETS and the DBCI-ES-Ex seemed comparable in some aspects (eg, internal consistency), and in other aspects, the TWEETS seemed somewhat superior (divergent and predictive validity).Conclusions: The TWEETS performs quite well as an engagement measure with high internal consistency, reasonable test-retest reliability and convergent validity, good divergent validity, and reasonable predictive validity. As the psychometric quality of a scale is a reflection of how closely a scale matches the conceptualization of a concept, this paper is also an attempt to conceptualize and define engagement as a unique concept, providing a first step toward an acceptable standard of defining and measuring engagement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e17757
JournalJournal of medical internet research
Volume22
Issue number10
Early online date10 Jan 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2020

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