Mobile Ecological Momentary Assessment/Intervention of Unhealthy Behaviors in Rakai, Uganda
Ecological Momentary Assessment and Intervention (EMAI) is an emerging technique for gathering data through repeated, longitudinal sampling of participants in their natural setting coupled with the delivery of real-time interventions. Mobile phones are a convenient EMAI instrument and their global emergence has created novel research opportunities in low and middle-income countries (LMIC). We propose a proof-of-concept EMAI study of two unhealthy behaviors—alcohol use and smoking—nested within the Rakai Community Cohort Study (RCCS), an ongoing population-based survey in Uganda. In Aim 1, we will conduct a pilot EMAI study among RCCS study participants (n=50) to determine if it is feasible to use smartphones to collect data on alcohol and smoking and to send tailored health messages in reply. In Aim 2 we will administer a traditional questionnaire assessing satisfaction, acceptability, and recall of alcohol and smoking events. We will assess if EMAI data collection was superior to questionnaire data in capturing numbers of unhealthy behavior events. If this novel data collection and intervention method is proven feasible, acceptable, and superior to traditional retrospective recall questionnaires, it will provide critical preliminary data to support future NIH proposals on novel non-communicable disease EMAI research in LMICs.
Ronald Gray, Kate Graboski