Advancing Health-related Abilities and Behaviors via Health Apps: A Large-scale Survey from Self-regulation Perspective

Shaoxiong Fu, Jie Fang, Zhao Cai, Eric T.K. Lim, Chee-Wee Tan, Haiping Yang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Motivated by the need for research on the relationship between health app usage and health-related outcomes in the form of health status and life satisfaction, this study builds on self-regulation theory to construct a research model for elucidating how health app quality affects health information literacy, health app usage and physical activity.

To empirically validate the proposed research model, a large-scale questionnaire survey on health app usage was administered on a sample of 6,948 respondents recruited from a university in China. Structural equation modeling was employed for data analysis.

Empirical findings demonstrate that health app quality positively affects self-regulation with respect to health app usage, health information literacy and physical activity. Taken together, these self-regulated behaviors drive health-related outcomes for health status and life satisfaction.

This study advances extant literature on health app usage through the application of self-regulation theory to investigate the effects of technological interventions in healthcare. Findings offer practical implications for how health apps can be leveraged to realize positive health-related outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternet Research
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1097-1130
Number of pages34
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Published online: 16 May 2022.


  • Health application
  • Application quality
  • Health information literacy
  • Physical activity
  • Health status
  • Life satisfaction

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