Equity and behavioral digital health interventions: Strategies to improve benefit and reach

Sarah J. Miller, Jamilia R. Sly, Kassandra I. Alcaraz, Kimlin Ashing, Shannon M. Christy, Brian Gonzalez, Qian Lu, Robert L. Newton, Michelle Redmond, Megan Shen, Kamilah Thomas-Purcell, Jean Yi, Tiffany Veinot, Cathy D. Meade

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Behavioral digital health interventions (e.g., mobile apps, websites, wearables) have been applied widely to improve health outcomes. However, many groups (e.g., people with low income levels, people who are geographically isolated, older adults) may face obstacles to technology access and use. In addition, research has found that biases and stereotypes can be embedded within digital health interventions. As such, behavioral digital health interventions that intend to improve overall population health may unintentionally widen health-related inequities. Purpose: This commentary offers guidance and strategies to mitigate these risks when using technology as a means for delivering a behavioral health intervention. Methods: A collaborative working group from Society of Behavioral Medicine's Health Equity Special Interest Group developed a framework to center equity in the development, testing and dissemination of behavioral digital health interventions. Results: We introduce Partner, Identify, Demonstrate, Access, Report (PIDAR), a 5-point framework to avoid the creation, perpetuation, and/or widening of health inequities in behavioral digital health work. Conclusions: It is critically important to prioritize equity when conducting digital health research. The PIDAR framework can serve as a guide for behavioral scientists, clinicians and developers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)400-405
Number of pages6
JournalTranslational Behavioral Medicine
Volume13
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2023

Keywords

  • Behavioral health
  • Digital health
  • Framework
  • Health equity

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