Temporal dynamics of health and well-being: A crowdsourcing approach to momentary assessments and automated generation of personalized feedback

L. van der Krieke, F. J. Blaauw, A. C. Emerencia, H. M. Schenk, J. Slaets, E. H. Bos, P. de Jonge, B. F. Jeronimus.

Jan 1, 2016 • 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000378


OBJECTIVE: Recent developments in research and mobile health enable a quantitative idiographic approach in health research. The present study investigates the potential of an electronic diary crowdsourcing study in the Netherlands for (1) large-scale automated self-assessment for individual-based health promotion and (2) enabling research at both the between-persons and within-persons level. To illustrate the latter, we examined between-persons and within-persons associations between somatic symptoms and quality of life.

METHODS: A website provided the general Dutch population access to a 30-day (3 times a day) diary study assessing 43 items related to health and well-being, which gave participants personalized feedback. Associations between somatic symptoms and quality of life were examined with a linear mixed model.

RESULTS: A total of 629 participants completed 28,430 assessments, with a mean (SD) of 45 (32) assessments per participant. Most participants (n = 517 [82%]) were women and 531 (84%) had high education. Almost 40% of the participants (n = 247) completed enough assessments (t = 68) to generate personalized feedback including temporal dynamics between well-being, health behavior, and emotions. Substantial between-person variability was found in the within-person association between somatic symptoms and quality of life.

CONCLUSIONS: We successfully built an application for automated diary assessments and personalized feedback. The application was used by a sample of mainly highly educated women, which suggests that the potential of our intensive diary assessment method for large-scale health promotion is limited. However, a rich data set was collected that allows for group-level and idiographic analyses that can shed light on etiological processes and may contribute to the development of empirical-based health promotion solutions.