Receptiveness and preferences of health-related smartphone applications among Vietnamese youth and young adults

Toan Thanh Thi Do, Mai Dinh Le, Thanh Van Nguyen, Bach Xuan Tran, Huong Thi Le, Hinh Duc Nguyen, Long Hoang Nguyen, Cuong Tat Nguyen, Tho Dinh Tran, Carl A. Latkin, Roger C.M. Ho, Melvyn W.B. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: As smartphone becomes increasingly prevalent and affordable, more youths today can own a smartphone device and download applications in various application stores. Smartphone applications have been proven to be useful for youths in various aspects. However, there has been a paucity of data looking into the preferences of Vietnamese youths and adolescents with regards to health-related applications and their receptiveness towards smartphone apps. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the receptiveness and preferences of health-related smartphone applications (mHealth apps) among online Vietnamese youths and adolescents. Methods: An online cross-sectional study was conducted between the periods of August till October 2015 in Vietnam. Respondent-driven sampling technique (RDS) was utilized to recruit participants. Participants were asked questions about their history of downloading and using health-related smartphone applications and their receptiveness when using these applications. Moreover, socio-demographic characteristics and health status were also self-reported. Multivariate logistic regression was employed to determine associated factors. Results: Among 1028 participants, 57.4% owned a smartphone and only 14.1% of smartphone users have used a health-related smartphone application, and most of these individuals downloaded the applications for disease prevention (66.3%). 66.4% of the participants who owned these applications reported that health applications were useful and 92.8% reported being satisfied with the functionalities of the applications which they owned. Among smartphone users, people who were employed (OR = 15.46; 95%CI = 4.93-48.47) were more likely to download mHealth apps. Meanwhile, youths with higher EQ-5D index had a lower likelihood of downloading healthcare-related smartphone applications (OR = 0.17; 95%CI = 0.04-0.81). Conclusions: This study highlighted a low rate of mHealth apps utilization among online Vietnamese youths and adolescents but a high acceptance of individuals who already used these apps. Developing mHealth apps or interventions towards the disease prevention and quality of life improvement could be feasible to proliferate the benefits of such applications in youths and adolescents in Vietnam. Further research should be conducted to optimize the contents and interfaces of mHealth apps that meet the needs of these populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number764
JournalBMC public health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 19 2018


  • Smartphone applications
  • Vietnam
  • Young adults
  • Youths

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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