Compatibility Factor of Mobile Health Applications Usage among Obese People: The Case of Kedah, Malaysia

Khairul Nazlin Kamaruzaman, Amily Fikry, Zuhal Hussein


A large-scale research has studied, the effects on mobile health application local and internationally to encourage people to have healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, the number of individual with obesity gradually increase especially in Malaysia. Therefore, this study has to be conducted. This qualitative study explored the behavioural intention to use mobile health applications in the concept of compatibility among obese people. In addition, this paper presents an exploration of what drives the usage intention to use mobile health applications, their ideas and thoughts on compatibility and suggestion for future improvement of mobile health applications. Data were collected personally from 19 interviewees. Transcripts were analysed using the advanced analysis tools software for qualitative research NVivo11 to code the variable. This study was found that majority of interviewees discussed the compatibility of mobile health applications and showed their intention to use this technology. Some implication of findings was obese people positively motivated themselves to manage their weight and improve their lifestyle.


Qualitative study, mobile health application, perceived compatibility, obesity, Malaysia

Full Text:



Koehler N, Vujovic O, McMenamin C. Healthcare professionals’ use of mobile phones and the internet in clinical practice. J Mob Technol Med [Internet]. 2013;2(1S):3–13. Available from:

Qasim MM, Zulkifli AN, Ahmad M, Omar M, Abu JA. Parent’s perception towards the adoption of mobile application for monitoring their children’s obesity status. ARPN J Eng Appl Sci. 2015;10(3):977–85.

Subramanian R. Diet, exercise and smartphones - A content analysis of mobile health applications for weight loss. 2015.

Institute for Public Health. National health & morbidity survey 2015 non-communicable diseases, risk factors & other health problems. Ministry of health. 2015.

Jo I, Yoo S, Lee DY, Park C, Kim EM. Diabetes management via mobile application: A case report. Clin Nutr Res. 2017;6(1):61–7.

Ramanathan N, Swendeman D, Comulada WS, Estrin D, Rotheram-borus MJ. Identifying preferences for mobile health applications for self-monitoring and self-management : Focus group findings from HIV-positive persons and young mothers. Int J Med Inform [Internet]. Elsevier Ireland Ltd; 2016;82(4):e38–46. Available from:

Chan S, Torous J, Hinton L, Yellowlees P. Mobile Tele-Mental Health: Increasing Applications and a Move to Hybrid Models of Care. Healthcare [Internet]. 2014;2(2):220–33. Available from:

Amarya S, Singh K, Sabharwal M. Health consequences of obesity in the elderly. J Clin Gerontol Geriatr. Elsevier Taiwan LLC; 2014;5(3):63–7.

Pelone F, Specchia ML, Veneziano M a., Capizzi S, Bucci S, Mancuso A, et al. Economic impact of adult obesity on health systems: A systematic review. Obes Rev. 2012;13(5):431–40.

McTigue KM, Stepp SD, Moore CG, Cohen ED, Hipwell AE, Loeber R, et al. The development of youth-onset severe obesity in urban US girls. J Clin Transl Endocrinol [Internet]. Elsevier Inc.; 2015;2(4):150–6. Available from:

Thorpe KE, Florence CS, Howard DH, Joski P. The impact of obesity on rising medical spending. Health Aff (Millwood). 2004;Suppl Web.

Barnett J, Harricharan M, Fletcher D, Gilchrist B, Coughlan J. myPace : An integrative health platform for supporting weight loss and maintenance behaviors. IEEE J Biomed Heal Informatics. 2015;19(1):109–16.

Higgins JP. Smartphone applications for patients’ health and fitness. Am J Med [Internet]. Elsevier Inc; 2016;129(1):11–9. Available from:

Malaysian Medical Association. The Medical Journal of Malaysia Hospitals [Internet]. 2016. Available from:

Bakken S, Jia H, Chen ES, Choi J, John RM, Lee NJ, et al. The effect of a mobile health decision support system on diagnosis and management of obesity, tobacco use, and depression in adults and children. J Nurse Pract [Internet]. Elsevier, Inc; 2014;10(10):774–80. Available from:

Kim KK, Logan HC, Young E, Sabee CM. Youth-centered design and usage results of the iN Touch mobile self-management program for overweight/obesity. Pers Ubiquitous Comput [Internet]. 2014;19(1):59–68. Available from:

Coughlin SS, Whitehead M, Sheats JQ, Mastrominico J, Smith S. A review of smartphone applications for promoting physical activity. Jacobs J Community Med. 2016;2(1):1–14.

Azevedo ARP, de Sousa HML, Monteiro JAF, Lima ARNP. Future perspectives of Smartphone applications for rheumatic diseases self-management. Rheumatol Int [Internet]. 2014;35(3):419–31. Available from:

Benferdia Y, Zakaria NH. A systematic literature review of content-based mobile health. J Inf Syst Res Innov [Internet]. 2014;(Special Issues):46–55. Available from:

Lachausse RG. My student body: Effects of an internet-based prevention program to decrease obesity among college students. J Am Coll Heal. 2012;60(4):324–30.

Wu J-H, Wang S-C, Lin L-M. Mobile computing acceptance factors in the healthcare industry: A structural equation model. Int J Med Inform. 2007;76(1):66–77.

Gagnon MP, Ngangue P, Payne-Gagnon J, Desmartis M. M-Health adoption by healthcare professionals: A systematic review. J Am Med Informatics Assoc. 2016;23(1):212–20.

Aranda-Jan CB, Mohutsiwa-Dibe N, Loukanova S. Systematic review on what works, what does not work and why of implementation of mobile health (mHealth) projects in Africa. BMC Public Health [Internet]. 2014;14(1):188. Available from:

Mcgillicuddy JW, Weiland AK, Frenzel RM, Mueller M, Brunner-Jackson BM, Taber DJ, et al. Patient attitudes toward mobile phone-based health monitoring: Questionnaire study among kidney transplant recipients. Journal of Medical Internet Research. 2013.

Institute for Public Health. Summary of NHMS Report on Disease Prevelance. 2015.

Grabowski P, Samfelt J. User awareness of privacy regarding user data in mobile health applications and wearables: Do you know what you are sharing? Lund University; 2016.

Torous J, Friedman R, Keshvan M. Smartphone ownership and interest in mobile applications to monitor symptoms of mental health conditions. J Med Internet Res. 2014;16(1).

Tang J, Abraham C, Stamp E, Greaves C. How can weight-loss app designers’ best engage and support users? A qualitative investigation. Br J Health Psychol. 2015;20(1):151–71.

Fournier T, Tibère L, Laporte C, Mognard E, Ismail MN, Sharif SP, et al. Eating patterns and prevalence of obesity. Lessons learned from the Malaysian Food Barometer. Appetite [Internet]. 2016;107:362–71. Available from:

Anderson K, Burford O, Emmerton L. Mobile health apps to facilitate self-care: A qualitative study of user experiences. PLoS One. 2016;11(5):1–21.

Campbell B, Caine K, Connelly K, Doub T, Bragg A. Cell phone ownership and use among mental health outpatients in the USA. Pers Ubiquitous Comput. 2015;19:367–78.

Creswell J. Qualitative research narrative structure. In: Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design. 2013. p. 220–30.

Kass-Hout T a., Alhinnawi H. Social media in public health. Br Med Bull. 2013;108(1):5–24.

Peng W, Kanthawala S, Yuan S, Hussain SA. A qualitative study of user perceptions of mobile health apps. BMC Public Health [Internet]. BMC Public Health; 2016;16(1):1158. Available from:


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Revista Publicando.

Licencia de Creative Commons


This Content is available under licencia de Creative Commons Reconocimiento-NoComercial-CompartirIgual 4.0 Internacional.